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Documents sur l'histoire de Naples; Pièces curieuses pour servir à l'histoire de France

non-fiction, pub:1862-1864




From A Bibliography of Alexandre Dumas père by Frank Wild Reed:
     This is an original autograph MS., unsigned and undated, of 260 closely written 4to. pages, quite perfect and entirely in the elder Dumas' autograph. (It appears to be a fair copy.) (1)
     (1) Yet it must be remembered that all Dumas' MS. are wonderfully free of corrections, looking like fair copies.
     This unpublished MS.(2) was apparently sent to the printer, for in the wide left-hand margins are pen and red pencil marks which indicate the portions to be printed, as well as the Italian word "garamonoino," frequently repeated, which indicates the kind of type to be used. Also, on the first page of the MS., this Italian title appears: "DOCUMENTI CURIOSI PER SCRIVERE ALLA STORIA DI NAPOLI," but not in the autograph of the author. It may be therefore that this MS. was published in Italy. This book is not listed in the various bibliographies of Dumas' published works. It belongs to the Pierpoint Morgan Library, New York.
     (2) It is exceedingly likely that this work was actually published in Dumas' Neapolitan journal "L'Indipendente." One is also inclined to speculate as to whether this may not be a portion of "I Borboni di Napoli." (See pp. 396-97.)
     This MS. is in the nature of an historical narrative of the time of Ferdinand IV. of Naples.(3) It relates almost entirely to the intrigues of Lord Nelson and Lady Hamilton at the Neapolitan court, and contains copies (in the same hand as the MS.) of many documents and letters of personages prominent during the Neapolitan Revolution and the restoration of the Bourbons in Naples (1797-1815), such as Sir William Hamilton, English Ambassador at the Court of Naples, Lady Hamilton, Bonaparte, Cardinal Ruffo. Lord Nelson, Sir Thomas Troubridge, General Mack, Paul, Czar of Russia, etc. Where the documents and letters were originally in English, they are translated into French, and those originally in Italian are so copied by Dumas. There are 36 pages of the MS. devoted to a copy (in Italian, and in the same hand as the MS.) of the "Memoria degli Avvenimenti Popolari seguité in Napoli.—Gennaio. 1799 (Anno VII. della Liberta)." (4)
     (3) That is to say Ferdinand I. of the Two Sicilies.
     (4) I owe the details concerning this MS. to the courtesy of Miss Green, Librarian of the Pierpoint Morgan Library.

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