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Le Testament de Monsieur Chauvelin

Monsieur Chauvelin's Will

nouvelle/novella, pub:1850, action:1774




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    Le Maréchal de Richelieu
    Louis XV


From Reviews (ADR) by Arthur D. Rypinski:
     A short novel with a supernatural twist, set at the time of the death of Louis XV, in 1774.
     A fortune-teller has prophesied that Louis XV and the Marquis de Chauvelin, Louis' favorite courtier, will die in the same month. When the Marquis receives a premonition of death, he withdraws from the court to return to his family, confess his sins, and prepare a will that will secure the imperilled fortunes of his wife and children.
     Louis, however, recalls the Marquis before he can complete his preparations, and the Marquis drops dead before Louis' terrified eyes. M. de Chauvelin, however, will not let so paltry an obstacle as death stand between him and protecting his family.
     Louis XV survives a month less a few days, and then dies in agony.

From A Bibliography of Alexandre Dumas père by Frank Wild Reed:
     One of the series comprising "Les Mille et un Fantômes" (to which refer for collaborators). In his historical work on "Louis XV. et Sa Cour," Dumas describes the death of Chauvelin and its effects upon the king. It is narrated in the (spurious) "Mémoires de la Comtesse Dubarry," but whether it is to be accepted as based on fact or as fiction is doubtful.
     The three introductory chapters of this work form one of Dumas' delightful reminiscences, on this occasion of his friendship in early years with M. de Villenave, the bibliophile.
     The setting for the story is 1774, the last year of the reign of Louis XV., of whose death it gives a graphic description. It first appeared serially in "Le Constitutionnel."
     Original edition : Paris, Cadot. 5 vols., 8vo, (which also include "Les Mariages du Père Olifus"), yellow wrappers printed in imitation of the title-page, 1850.
     It forms one volume in the standard Calmann-Lévy edition, and one in the same firm's "Musée Littéraire."
     In Le Vasseur's "Alexandre Dumas Illustré" it occupies a part of Vol. XVII., with the remainder of "Les Mille et un Fantômes."

         References :—
     Dumas: "Louis XV. et Sa Cour," Chapter XXV.
     Dubarry (Madame): "Mémoires," Vol. III., Chapter XX. (of the English translation by Nichols, 1896).
     Dumas: "Mes Mémoires," Chapters CXV. and CXVI.
     Parran: "Bibliographie d'Alex. Dumas," page 58.

         Principal English Translations :—
     "Monsieur de Chauvelin's Will" (with "The Woman with the Velvet Necklace"); London, Dent. cr. 8vo., illustrated, 1897. Reprinted, same firm (then with "Blanche de Beaulieu" added), 1907 and 1926.
     "Monsieur de Chauvelin's Will;" London, Methuen, as part of "Tales of Strange Adventure," sewed, 1907.


From A Bibliography of Alexandre Dumas père by Frank Wild Reed:
     (CLXX.) Chapter VI., eight lines, rhyming a, b, b, a, c, d, c, d.

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