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Catherine Howard

The throne, the tomb, and the scaffold; All for a Crown, or, the Only Love of King Henry VIII

drame/play, pub:1834

Drama in five acts and eight scenes. Written for Ida Ferrier.

Concerns England's King Henry VIII's consort Catherine Howard (-1542).

Oeuvres/Related Works
    Williams, Henry Llewellyn, Jr.: All For a Crown - Star Library #23, New York, London, Street & Smith, 1902 (LOC# 03001581) (novelization of Catherine Howard)

Images (voyez tous/view all)
    Cover of "All For a Crown"

From A Bibliography of Alexandre Dumas père by Frank Wild Reed:
     A prose drama in five acts and eight tableaux.
     Anicet Bourgeois is commonly credited with having assisted Dumas with this production, though the details following do not in any way substantiate this.
     About 1832 Dumas wrote the first rough draft of a verse play, which he called "Le Roi Robert et la Belle Edith." This is contained in a green covered manuscript book, which also contains the first efforts at two pieces of his verse. Formerly in the possession of M. Charles Glinel, this book is now in the Reed Dumas Collection. Being written in pencil, with corrections, erasures, and even passages re-written over the former wording, it is frequently very difficult to decipher; moreover, not only is the indication of the different scenes sometimes lacking, but Dumas often does not trouble to include the transition from one speaking role to another, or only by a break in the line of verse.
     It was from this effort that Dumas constructed his finished piece, also in verse, entitled "Edith aux Longs Cheveux." The Comédie Française refused it, and, in conversation with its author, Mademoiselle Mars pointed out its lack of completeness. Dumas at once perceived a new plot spring from the old one, and there resulted the prose play of "Catherine Howard."
     In the advertisement its author calls this an "extra-historical" play, and states that the king, Henry VIII., was only a nail on which to hang his plot. None the less, one must admit that in the first tableau, particularly, there are scenes very cleverly worked upon an historical background. Further, years later, William Harrison Ainsworth very largely based the plot of his novel "Tower Hill" (1871) upon this drama, its heroine being also Catherine Howard.
     First performed at the Porte Saint Martin Théâtre on the 2nd of June, 1834.
     Original edition : Paris, Charpentier, 1834, 8vo., pp. 208, followed by 8 pp. of the publisher's then current catalogue. This edition contains an etching by Célestin Nanteuil, depicting Catherine placing her hand on the heart of the unconscious Ethelwood. Another frontispiece had been prepared by the same artist, in which Catherine is shown lying in her tomb, but this was not used.
     In 1835 this play was included in the fifth volume of Charpentier' s collected edition.
     It was reprinted in the "Magasin Théâtral" ; Paris, Marchant, 1835, large 8vo. of two columns, pp. 42.
     It now forms part of Vol. III. in the 15 Vol. edition, and of Vol. IV. of that in 25 Vols. as issued by Calmann-Lévy.

         References :—
     Dumas: "Mes Mémoires," Chapter CCXXXII.
     Blaze de Bury: "Alexandre Dumas," pp. 76-79.
     Parigot: "Le Drame d'Alexandre Dumas," pp. 73, 80, 90.
     Quérard: "Supercheries Littéraires Dévoilées," Vol. I., Column 1066.
     Asselineau: "Bibliographie Romantique," pp. 17-18.
     Parran: "Bibliographie d'Alexandre Dumas," pp. 24-25.
     Courmeaux: "Alexandre Dumas," pp. 26-27.
     " 'Catherine Howard' de : Alexandre Dumas et Catherine Howard, d'après Voltaire et d'autres Historiens." Paris, Sétier, 1834, pp. 12.
     Lecomte: "Alexandre Dumas" (1902), pp. 114, 173, 239.

         English Translations, etc. :—
     In 1859 appeared an adaptation of this play by Dumas, for the English stage, by W. D. Suter : London, Lacy's Plays, pp. 48. It, too, was entitled "Catherine Howard."
     "All for a Crown; or, the Only Love of King Henry VIII,"—translated, in the form of a novel, by H. L. Williams, from the "Catherine Howard" of Alexandre Dumas. London, 1902, pp. 276.
     In 1871 William Harrison Ainsworth produced his novel "Tower Hill" ; London, John Dicks, sewed. Though he makes no acknowledgment of the fact, his plot was plainly borrowed from that of Dumas' drama, especially in the matters connected with the sleeping potion. Catherine Howard is also the heroine of Ainsworth's story.

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