Paris, Barba, 1832.
8vo [209 x 130 mm] of (4) ll., 98 pages, with the 2 pp. of commercial advertisement from the bookseller. Quarter light brown straight-grained morocco, gilt fillet on the covers, flat spine richly decorated, printed wrappers and spine bound in. Binding signed by Mercier Sr de son père.
First edition, “rare and highly sought-after” (Clouzot p. 94) of this drama by Alexandre Dumas performed for the first time in Paris at the theatre of Porte Saint-Martin on May 29th 1832.
“A famous play that became rare” (Carteret).
“Rare and highly sought-after” mentions M. Clouzot.
Among Alexandre Dumas’ 251 works recorded by the bibliographer M. Clouzot (Guide du bibliophile français, XIXe siècle, Paris, 1996) only 4 bear the mention “highly sought-after”: « Les Trois Mousquetaires » ; « Le Comte de Monte-Christo » ; « La Tour de Nesle » ; « Mes Mémoires ».
“Very rare. Copy with wrappers. Sold” we could read in the Bulletin de la Librairie Morgand et Fatout in 1884 (n°11117).
“Drama in five acts by Alexandre Dumas father (1803-1870) and Frédéric Gaillardet (1808-1882), performed in 1832. A legend makes of Nesle’s tower the theater of more than one crime: it is there indeed that Marguerite de Bourgogne, King Louis X’s legitimate wife and her own sisters would have massacre their lovers after a certain love night, that nobody ever witnessed. This legend provided the subject of a drama that interest us, one fo the first romantic theatre after Hernani’s triumph by Victor Hugo in 1830.” (Dictionnaire des Œuvres, VI, p. 454).
A precious copy of this very rare literary first edition, wide-margined as untrimmed, with the printed wrappers bound in.
Only one copy has appeared on the public market over the last 40 years (sale O. Doutrebente on June 5th 2015) but it was missing the final printed leaf.
Provenance: from the prestigious library of Paul Villeboeuf with his ex libris and his gilt monogram “VP”. An autograph letter by Gaillardet has been bound at the beginning of the volume.