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La Conscience

drame/play, pub:1854

A prose drama.

From A Bibliography of Alexandre Dumas père by Frank Wild Reed:
     A prose drama in six acts.
     Dumas signed this piece alone. Lockroy is said to be the collaborator by Goizet and Lecomte, but in a lawsuit which was brought to establish this, by Michel Lévy Frères, to whom Lockroy had ceded his rights, the claimants were non-suited. Glinel, on the other hand, says that Iffland's trilogy "Transgression through Ambition" was translated for Dumas by Max de Goritz, and that from this version, with the assistance of Paul Bocage, the drama was constructed by its acclaimed author. To judge by the report of the trial in "Le Mousquetaire," it would seem that Lockroy's part comprised merely such slight alterations as were necessary during rehearsals.
     Courmeaux says: "The analysis of a soul tortured by remorse for theft."
     First performed at the Odéon Theatre on the 4th of November, 1854.
     It was re-staged at the same theatre with even more than its first brilliant success in 1869.
     Original edition : Paris, Taride, 1854, 12mo., pp. 108, yellow wrapper reproducing the title-page, with advertisements of Taride's publications on the back cover. Printed by Ch. Lahure. This edition has a preface, later transferred to the end of the piece as a postscript, which differs considerably in its two forms as to the first third of the matter, but the remainder is in both cases identical.
     All editions bear the dedication: "À Victor Hugo. C'est à vous, mon cher Hugo, que je dédie mon drame de 'La Conscience.' Recevez-le comme le Témoignage d'une amitié qui a survécu à. l'exile, et qui survivra, je l'espère, même à la mort. Je crois à l'immortalité de l'âme.—Alex. Dumas." ("To Victor Hugo. It is to you, my dear Hugo, that I dedicate my drama of 'Conscience.' Receive it as the testimony of a friendship which has survived exile, and which will survive, I hope, even death. I believe in the immortality of the soul.—Alex. Dumas.") The reply of Hugo may be read in "Les Contemplations," fifteenth piece.
     This play is now found in Vol. XII. of the 15 Vol. edition, and in Vol. XX. of that in 25 Vols., issued by Calmann-Lévy.

         References :—
     Audebrand: "Alexandre Dumas à la Maison d'Or," page 306 compared with page 85.
     Glinel: "Alexandre Dumas et Son Œuvre," pp. 433-34.
     Courmeaux: "Alexandre Dumas," page 30.
     Goizet: "Collaboration au Théâtre," page 95.
     Parran: "Bibliographie d'Alex. Dumas," page 33.
     Ferry: "Dernières Années d'Alexandre Dumas," pp. 303-305.
     "Le Mousquetaire," under date of May 16th, 1855.
     Lecomte: "Alexandre Dumas," page 120.

         Parody :—
     "L'Inconscience," a parody which appeared as a feuilleton in "L'Ère Nouvelle Théâtrale," for March, 1856, a humanitarian drama in two parts, by Édouard Jaloux.

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