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Le Pape devant les Évangiles

divers/miscellaneous, pub:1861

From A Bibliography of Alexandre Dumas père by Frank Wild Reed:
     L'Histoire et la Raison Humaine.
     Alexandre Dumas.
     Réponse à Sa Grandeur
     Monseigneur Dupanloup, Évêque d'Orléans.
     Imprimerie de Androsio.
     One volume, 4to., pp. xxxvi., 118, prix l franc.
     Evidently M. Glinel failed to secure a copy of this very rare work. That which lies before me has been carefully copied out in M. Glinel's hand, for the most part, from that which belonged to a friend. It bears the following note: "To my dear fellow-countryman Monsieur . . . (the name there written has become illegible). Alex. Dumas." It is on the fine, tough deckle-edged paper of which the copyist was very fond.
     The contents are as follows :—
     1. Lettre à M. le Vicomte de la Gueronnière, par Monseigneur l'Évêque d'Orléans. "M. le Vicomte . . ."
     Under five headings this letter fills pp. 1 to 50. In the margin M. Glinel has carefully noted fifteen instances in which Dumas' reproduction of the text differs slightly from the published brochure.
     2. Pages 51 to 205 (inclusive) consist of a long article signed by Dumas, in which he quotes freely from the Gospels and Dante, and which has much to say about the Papacy, Italy and Garibaldi, among other things.
     3. Pages 206 to 239 comprise an article addressed to "Monseigneur Son Éminence le Cardinal Antonelli," signed "Alexandre Dumas, 26 Mars 1861."
     The only copy I have heard of is in the Harvard College Library, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
     Now here is a little puzzle for solving. In his MS., translated as "On Board the 'Emma,' " we find the author of "Le Pape Devant les Évangiles," writing not later than early August, 1860, speaking of this work as already published. (Page 306 of the English work.) If Dumas was then correct, there must have been an earlier edition than that of Androsio, since the latter concludes with a letter addressed to Cardinal Antonelli, dated March 26th, 1861. Was the original brochure privately printed, and did it perhaps contain only Dumas' own article? In his narrative written on board his yacht, Dumas states that Pius IX. had forbidden him to land in the Papal States, giving the publication of the brochure and the Sicilian expedition as the reasons. The pagination of the Harvard copy is stated as : xxxvi., 96, and lacks the letter to Cardinal Antonelli.
     The original MS. in Dumas' handwriting was discovered in 1921, and, being thought to be unpublished, was to have been issued in Italy. An accident prevented this, and before the owner could proceed with the project, the accord between Mussolini and the Pope caused its publication in that kingdom to be forbidden.

         References :—
     Maurel: "Les Trois Dumas," page 153. (He seems to be the only bibliographer acquainted with the work.)
     "La Vie Contemporaine," No. for December 15th, 1895.
     "Nottingham Evening Post," No. for March 27th, 1930. (I have also a French cutting practically of the same wording as the above, but am not aware from what journal it came.)

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