Paris, Duchesne, 1763.
8vo of 72 pp. misnumbered 56. Bound in contemporary red morocco, triple gilt fillets on the covers, anchor and snake patterns stamped in the corners, large gilt arms in the center, flat spine finely decorated, olive green lettering-piece, gilt edges. Contemporary binding.
190 x 121 mm.
First edition of this comedy which achieved great success since its first representation in Paris.
L’Anglais à Bordeaux is a comedy in one act in free verses which has been represented for the first time at the Comédie-Française on the 14th March 1763 during the Duke of Bedford’s visit, the British ambassador in Paris. The work, celebrating peace with England and the treatise of Paris, is dedicated to the Duke of Praslin, the minister of Foreign Affairs. The main purpose of it is the equality of men despite the national differences which divide them. It is the last play in which Ms. Dangeville played.
« ‘L’Anglais à Bordeaux’ has been played on the 14th of March 1763, on the occasion of peace with England. The author had entitled it ‘the Defeated antipathy’; the English ambassador remarked that its more suitable title was ‘the English in Bordeaux’, and he was given satisfaction. Favart had submitted his play to all the foreign ministers; who didn’t find anything unpleasant in it. By a refinement of politeness towards England, the first representation was preceded with ‘Brutus’, a patriotic tragedy of the English taste. We found in Favart’s comedy a lot of spirit. The success was complete […] Favart took as subject for his play the national antipathy which seems to exist between English and French people […] Favart developed this content as a man of intelligence, but the French mind may dominate slightly too much: we recognize the graceful and flowery author from so many chamber operas, from so many charming vaudevilles, full of ingenious and delicate features. » (J.L. Geoffroy, Cours de littérature dramatique, pp. 309-311).
« Favart made the fortune of the Comédie-Italienne, and his happy creativity produced those charming works which can be placed close to the ones of Sedaine and Marmontel. Favart had many successes, and we can say that he was the father of chamber opera and the happy successor of Lesage, Vade, Fuzellier and Piron. » (Nouvelle Biographie générale, XVII, 209).
« By reading ‘l’Anglais à Bordeaux’, you won’t be surprised by its prodigious success. This success has even been announced in the Gazette de France, a distinction which has never been granted to any of the master-pieces of the French-Theatre, and to which some pretend that the court fulfilled the honor by giving the author a pension. »
A precious copy bound in contemporary red morocco with the Prince von Starhemberg’s arms, the ambassador of Ostrich in Paris. (1724-1807). He was the promoter in France of the reversal of the diplomatic alliances.
Provenance: Prince von Starhemberg (arms on the covers), family Starhemberg (stamp on the endpaper), interwoven initials in ink on the title.