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Poésies

vers/verse, pub:1834




From A Bibliography of Alexandre Dumas père by Frank Wild Reed:
     In 1834 appeared the first edition of Dumas' drama "Angèle," which had been performed for the first time at the Porte Saint Martin Théâtre on the 28th of the preceding December.
     The four pages of advertisements appended to this first edition contained, among other announcements by Charpentier, as "Sous presse," "Poésies d'Alexandre Dumas," 1 vol., 8vo.
     Furthermore, a pirated Brussels edition of the same play, issued also in 1834, lists as "in the press, by the same author, 'Poésies,' 1 vol., 32mo." In this case the publishing bookseller was E. Laurent.
     Despite these two notices, the one probably "borrowed" from the other, there never seems to have been any printed collection of the poems of Alexandre Dumas. Asselineau says in his "Bibliographie Romantique " (Second edition, pp. 159-60): "J'ajouterai, comme dernier regret à exprimer, que quelques poètes de ce temps-là, dont j'aurais aimé à parler ici, n'ont jamais réuni leurs œuvres en vers, et que les échantillons que j'ai rencontrés çà et là suffisaient point pour établir un jugement. Comment, par exemple, n'avons-nous pas un recueil des poésies d'Alexandre Dumas, qu'il serait intéressant ou tout au moins curieux de retrouver?" (1). And Blaze de Bury says : "... On ne peut que regretter qu'il n'existe pas un recueil des poésies d'Alexandre Dumas. . . . On aimerait y aller voir." (2)
     Dumas himself stated to Hugo that he had not published the two or three volumes of verse which he had written (this was years later), because he recognised their inferiority to those of his friend. ("Petit Journal.")
     (1) "I would add, to express a last regret, that some poets of this period, of whom I should like to have spoken here, have never collected their works in verse, and that the specimens which I have met with here and there are insufficient upon which to establish a judgment. Why, for example, have we no collection of the poems of Alexandre Dumas which it would be interesting or at least curious to recover?"
     (2) ". . . We can only regret that there does not exist a collection of the poems of Alexandre Dumas. . . . We should like to see it appear."
     When, in 1884, Charles Glinel produced his fine work on Dumas, he included all the original verse with which he was acquainted (except that of the dramas, translations, and work easy to procure in the "Œuvres Complètes"), some thirty-seven pieces in all; he also gave the titles of twenty-six translations from the Russian. Here, then, was a total of sixty-three items of poetry ; however, still continuing his efforts, by 1902 M. Glinel had gathered together no less than one hundred and fifty-five pieces, still without those in the dramas and prose works. Even so, there must of necessity be many other examples scattered about. The Reed Dumas Collection contains five in manuscript, and one in a miscellany entitled: "Almanach dédié aux Demoiselles" for 1824. Further, another is printed by M. Lecomte in his "Alexandre Dumas." Add to these the pieces scattered through dramas and romances, and the number swells to well over three hundred. Unfortunately the collection of M. Glinel still remains in manuscript only.
     Of these pieces, twenty-eight have been set to music, some by more than one composer at different times. Among others, one counts Hippolyte Monpou, E. Guion, Ch. Glantade, Henri Reber, J. B. Wekerlin, Varney, Ernest Reyer, A. Lionnet, Louis Abadie, Émile Louis, L, Graziani, V. Capecelatro, Liszt, E. Masini, Arthur de Sinety, Auguste Morel, Édouard Garnier, A. de Mirecourt, Edmond Membrée, César Franck and Hector Berlioz.

         References :—
     Dumas: "Mes Mémoires," Chapters LIX., CV., CVL, CVIII., CXII., CXLIII. and CCLXIL, among others.
     Asselineau: "Bibliographie Romantique," second edition, pp. 159-160.
     Blaze de Bury: "Alexandre Dumas," p. 140.
     Glinel: "Alexandre Dumas et Son Œuvre," pp. (in particular) III, 135-41, 144, 148-69, 174-81, 193-96, 217-20, 227-49, 253-58, 293-94, 308-09, 327-29, 334-37, 355, 364-65,432,447, 452, 453 and 465.
     "Petit Journal," November 8th, 1864.

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