Lyons, N. Scheuring, 1876.
8vo [218 x 136 mm] of (3) ll., xxvi pp., (1) l., 411 pp., (5) pp. Citron quarter-morocco, richly decorated ribbed spine, red and green morocco lettering pieces, mosaic fleurons in red and green morocco in the panels, illustrated wrapper by Lalauze bound in. Contemporary binding signed by Masson-Debonnelle.
First collective edition gathering the two series of pupazzi published in 1866 and 1868.
Vicaire, V, 193.
Louis Lemercier, known as Louis Lemercier de Neuville or La Haudussière, born on July 2, 1830 in Laval and died on June 10, 1918 in Nice, was a French puppeteer, journalist, columnist, playwright and storyteller. He is the creator of the French Pupazzi Theater.
He begins with a brief career in the administration of the posts. He then founded several short-lived periodicals: on March 4, 1855, he launched his first newspaper entitled La Muselière, journal de la decadence intellectuelle. He then wrote to L’Indépendance dramatique quite assiduously and published, in 1855 and 1856, the Pastiches critiques des auteurs contemporains, the Inconnus célèbres, the Miettes de pain perdues, a genre novel. At the end of 1856, he became editor-in-chief of L’Exemple. In 1857, he wrote letters from Paris in the Presse théâtrale and played a vaudeville at the Ambigu: Recette pour marier ses filles. In 1858, he founded Le Parisien, a 10 cent illustrated newspaper. He was also director of Le Foyer from April 17 to 18, 1858. He collaborates thereafter to several newspapers of which Le Figaro, Le Nain jaune, Le Monde illustré. In 1860, he opens a portable theater of pupazzi with the setting in scene in the form of caricatures of the celebrities of the moment. He had a great success in the salons of the end of the 19th century.
Under assumed names (the key is in a notice at the end of each play), Lemercier de Neuville played the celebrated men of his time in the form of cardboard characters, the Pupazzi. These eighteen plays, of which he was the author, the stage manager, the manipulator and the voices, had a great success in the salons of his time..
“The Pupazzi’s troupe forms a dramatic staff such as one does not see on the boards of any theater. More illustrious than the members of the Comédie-Française, more in tune than the singers of the Opera, less demanding than the tenors of Russia and the warblers of America, more amusing than the jokers of the Bouffes and the Palais-Royal, more supple than Auriol, cuter than the actors of the children’s troupe of the late Comte theater, do not these puppets of wood and rags represent the ideal of a dramatic troupe? Impresario, author, actor, prompter, stagehand, decorator and sculptor, Lemercier de Neuville is the soul of this wonderful microcosm”.
Besides a portrait of the author engraved on copper by J. M. Fugère, each of the 18 pieces is preceded with a beautiful etching (head-piece) engraved by Gheneutte, Taiee, Cham, Beauverie, Bertall.
Precious copy of this sougth-after work, preserved in an elegant, signed, contemporary binding with the illustrated wrapper bound in.