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Le Comte Hermann

drame/play, pub:1849, action:1840

Prose drama in five acts.

    Dr. Sturler's Experiment, the epilogue to Le Comte Hermann translated by Frank J. Morlock

Oeuvres/Related Works
    Morlock, Frank J.: Dr. Sturler's Experiment - epilogue to Le Comte Hermann available to read online!

From Reviews (FJM) by Frank J. Morlock:
     Count Hermann itself is not one of Dumas most interesting plays. It reads like a modernization of Tristan/King Mark and Yseult set in the 1840's in Germany or Switzerland. Doctor Sturler is Count Hermann's protégé (the son of an innkeeper educated by Count Hermann to be a doctor, and his personal physician.) Sturler renounces his fiancée to Count Hermann who marries her. Then the good doctor proceeds to embroil Count Hermann's nephew with his wife in the hopes that the elderly Count will disinherit his nephew from jealousy and leave all his considerable fortune to Dr. Sturler. He is found out. Hermann and his nephew reconcile, and the Count makes a bequest to Doctor Sturler's father, the innkeeper. Furious, the doctor embarks on his experiment.

From A Bibliography of Alexandre Dumas père by Frank Wild Reed:
     A prose drama in five acts, with an epilogue, which latter is a long monologue, not used on the stage, but only intended for readers.
     Apparently Dumas had no collaborator for this play. It is true that Lecomte gives the name of Auguste Maquet (so far as appears no other has been suggested), but against this J. Goizet names it as one of the six plays which Maquet emphasised to him that he had no share in composing, though he drew some of the profits in liquidation of previous debts owing to him by Dumas. This should be quite definite, as Goizet's work was published twenty-one years before the death of Maquet, and could easily have been contradicted by this latter.
     In equipping it with a "Preface," dated the 21st of November, and a "Last Word to My Readers," dated the 1st of December, 1849, Dumas defies his critics to prove their statements that the play was a translation, or even the imitation of a German one.
     M. Blaze de Bury says that Dumas was present at the performance of a piece entitled "La Jeune Vieillesse," which was hissed and failed, and muttered to himself: "Is the man a fool? He has passed by an admirable subject, I will remember this play." From the idea thus implanted sprung "Le Comte Hermann."
     M. Parran calls it one of Dumas' most important compositions, and one of those to which he attributed the greatest worth.
     Dumas himself says: "In 'Le Comte Hermann'... instead of physical love, in place of material brutality, a woman's chastity and a man's devotion are called upon to produce their effects of emotion and of tears which, fifteen years before, the author had asked from other passions "
     "Le Comte Hermann" is often spoken of as the counterpart of "Antony," written when its author had added, with years, a wiser and truer outlook on life to the romantic and dramatic gifts which he always possessed.
     First performed at the Théâtre Historique on the 22nd of November, 1849.
     Original edition : Paris, Marchant, in the "Magasin Théâtral," 8vo. of two columns, 1849.
     It is now to be found in the standard edition of the collected plays issued by Calmann-Lévy, in Vol. X. of the 15 Vol. series, and in Vol. XVI. of that in 25 Vols.

         References :—
     Dumas: "Mes Mémoires," Chapters CCXXII. (end) and CCXXXVII.
     Courmeaux: "Alexandre Dumas," page 30.
     Goizet: "Collaboration au Théâtre," page 160.
     Gautier: "Art Dramatique," Série VI., pp. 126-130.
     Blaze de Bury: "Alexandre Dumas," page 92.
     Parran: "Bibliographie d'Alexandre Dumas," pp. 31-32.
     Parigot: "Le Drame d'Alexandre Dumas," pp. 282-84.
     Glinel: "Alexandre Dumas et Son Œuvre," pp. 421-22.

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