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DUMAS, Alexandre.

Les Trois Mousquetaires.

Availability: In stock

Published: Paris Baudry, 1844

Stock Code: 131665

OR On display in 100 Fulham Road


First separate edition, with the scarce original wrappers bound in, and with two autograph notes signed by the author in volume I, one loosely inserted: "dans l'ombre ou nous marchons / Dieu nous sert a nommer le mot que nous cherchons, Alex. Dumas (In the shadow where we tread / God serves us to name the word we are looking for, Alex. Dumas)"; the other tipped-in between the title page and preface: "Impossible mon cher ... il n'y a rien a faire elere? avec cela les paysans qui clament en chantant des rondes?, et les patriotes a qui l'on creve les yeux sont a la fois trop opera comique et trop melodramatique Tachons d'amener? Melle Georges aux faveurs?. Et vous verrez bientot comment je comprends? un role pour elle Impossible my dear , there is nothing to do with this the farmers who shout? by singing, and the patriots whose eyes are put out are both too comical, operatic, and melodramatic. Let's endeavour to bring Miss Georges to the favours?. And you will soon see how I understand? a role for her". The reference to Miss Georges is likely to the renowned stage actress Marguerite Georges.
Les Trois Mousquetaires was originally published earlier the same year as a serial novel in the Parisian newspaper Le Siècle, from 14 March to 1 July 1844. The Three Musketeers "has become the archetypal adventure story, as well as the best known and the most widely read (and adapted) of all French novels. In the historical context of its production it was also the prototype of the roman-feuilleton (serial novel), which enjoyed phenomenal success in the 1840s... It provided a natural outlet for Alexandre Dumas's talents and energies as he combined elements of the historical romance of Sir Walter Scott with the formulas and themes of the romantic feuilleton... This 'Homeric clash of Titans', as David Coward described it, immediately became a best-seller, and was quickly translated into several languages, with no less than six pirated Belgian editions on the market in the year of publication. As Anthony Burgess noted, Dumas was truly 'one of the great myth-makers of his and any age'" (Murray, p. 118).
PROVENANCE: from the library of 19th-century collector Léon Rattier, with his red morocco bookplate to front pastedown of volume I; subsequently owned by book collector and co-founder of Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Bergé (1930-2017), with his bookplate to the front pastedown of each volume.

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8 volumes, octavo (218 x 134 mm). Late 19th-century blue half morocco by Parisian binder David, titles to spines in gilt in compartments, raised bands ruled in gilt, floral motif within floriate frames in gilt to compartments, marbled paper sides, top edge gilt, others untrimmed, marbled endpapers, green, red, and yellow striped cloth page markers, original yellow paper wrappers bound in to each volume.


Slight rippling to book block of vol. III, faint dampstain to upper margin. Minor rubbing to extremities, a little foxing to contents, a couple of minor paper faults; a near-fine set.


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