Paris, Théodore Girard, 1666.
12mo [139 x 80 mm] of (10) ll., 72 pp. misnumbered 84. A few waterstains. Bound in contemporary limp vellum, flat spine. Slipcase. Contemporary binding.
Extremely rare counterfeit publication of the first edition of one of Racine’s main tragedies, not mentioned by bibliographers.
It is one of the most sought-after plays by Racine.
The present edition, which is not mentioned by any bibliographer, has the same pagination as the first one, except of course the extract of the privilege which does not appear in the preliminary leaves and it reproduces the same mistakes of pagination as the first one. The title, instead of the copper-engraved mark “à l’Envie” of Girard, is decorated with a wood-engraved basket of flowers.
Alexandre le Grand, Racine’s second play, was performed in Paris from December 4th 1665.
« In this work of youth, Racine gave in to the heroic and gallant taste, with an Alexandre who is a perfect lover, a Porus who is a man in love and a hero with a language blossoming of preciosity. The tragedy was appreciated: love was treated with grace; we find here and there some touches that are more profound and let portend the future poet of woman and love. » (Dictionnaire des Œuvres, I, 81).
A good copy preserved in its original binding in contemporary limp vellum.
We haven’t been able to locate any copy of this counterfeit edition in any Public Institution in the world (OCLC).