Paris, Jean Ribou, 1668.
12mo [141 x 83 mm] of (2) ll., 91 pp., (1) bl. p. Bound in full red Jansenist morocco, spine ribbed, gilt over marbled edges. Binding signed Thibaron-Joly.
First edition of this comedy by Moliere in one-act and in prose, performed for the first time on January 29, 1664 in Queen Mother’s apartments at the Louvre.
Tchemerzine, IV, 783 ; Guibert, I, p. 230-233, Catalogue du baron de Ruble, n°364 ; Picot, Catalogue du baron Rothschild, n°1191 ; Lacroix, Bibliographie moliéresque, n°10.
This play marks a break in Moliere’s work and the emergence of a new form: the ballet.
This great comedian was freely inspired by Rabelais’s ‘Tiers livre’ and Moliere plays himself the difficult role of Sganarelle, awfully in love and ridiculous, terribly worried about his wife’s vanity.
On the first performance louis XIV danced himself in the Egytian Ballet accompanying the play.
“The ‘Mariage forcé’ shows indeed Moliere’s first great musical adventure as well as Lully’s theatrical adventure at a time when the court ballet was settling for a very tenuous connection between each ‘Entrée’.”
It anticipates the new form opera will be.
The comic effect of the play is reinforced by an atmosphere of great familiarity between the characters played by the king, the noblemen, the dancers and the comedians.
The play, without ballet, was revived in 1668, and simultaneously printed.
Beautiful copy finely bound in nineteenth century red morocco by Thibaron-Joly.
Our research enabled us to locate only 3 copies from this rare first edition among all the French public institutions: B.n.F., Bibliothèque du Château de Chantilly and Paris Sorbonne.