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Bathilde; Un Soir de Carnaval

drame/play, pub:1839

A play (originally, The Night of Mardi-Gras) by August Maquet, rewritten by Dumas. This is the first collaboration between Maquet and Dumas.


From A Bibliography of Alexandre Dumas père by Frank Wild Reed:
     A prose drama in three acts.
     This piece was first called "Un Soir de Carnaval."
     It was signed by Auguste Maquet alone.
     Unable to obtain its acceptance, Maquet applied to his friend, Gérard de Nerval (Labrunie). This latter at once realised that much alteration was necessary, but felt his own inadequacy for the task. He wrote: "Here are an act and a half very good, and an act and a half to be re-done. . . . As for me, I have found a means of making the denouement without any form of death, because that was the stumbling-block ; your dénouement was too gloomy and too heavy for a production in three acts, more cleverly than forcibly carried out." Gérard approached Lockroy, who, at first favourably inclined, afterwards refused. Then, perceiving his friend's disappointment, de Nerval, to use his own expression, "tormented Dumas until he will do the work himself." This was the more generous that Gérard had a share in "L'Alchimiste," which Dumas was at the moment in the course of completing. Here is Gérard's final note complete: "I did not wish to write without being certain of everything. Dumas has re-written the whole play, on your plan however ; you will be named. This piece is accepted and pleases everyone, and will be performed. You see then." And for postscript: "I will appoint a meeting to-morrow, to introduce you to Dumas."
     M. Glinel possessed a nicely bound copy of "Bathilde," containing an autograph sonnet, signed A. Maquet, and addressed to Mdlle. Ida Ferrier, who played the leading role.
     Performed at the Renaissance Theatre on the 14th of January, 1839.
     The only printed edition was that of Marchant, Paris, 1839, large 8vo., of two columns, forming part of the "Magasin Théâtral," pp. 26.

         References :
     Simon: "Histoire d'une Collaboration : A. Dumas et A. Maquet," pp. 17-22.
     Glinel: "Théâtre Inconnu,"—"Revue Biblio-Iconographique," year 1898, pp. 510-11.

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