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RICHELIEU; OR, THE CONSPIRACY: A Play in Five Acts. To which is added, Historical Odes on the Last Days of Elizabeth; Cromwell's Dream; The Death of Nelson. By the Author of the "Lady of Lyons," "Eugene Aram," &c
London: Published by Saunders and Otley, Conduit Street (Printed by W. Clowes and Sons), 1839. First Edition. Pagination: Half-title, (xii), 144 pp. and illus & letter FINELY BOUND in 3/4 red morocco, 8 3/8" x 5 1/4" ________ EXTRA-ILLUSTRATED with 16 plates (10 portraits, 2 hand-colored costumes, and 4 dramatic scenes all realted to the text of the play: Richelieu, Gaston d'Orleans, valet de pied du roi [in color], Marion de Lorme, garde du corps [in color], Louis XIII, Sir Francis Walsingham, Elisabeth I, Joan of Arc riding with Crusaders, Cromwel, Prince Rupert, viewer of a kingly corpse, Horatio Nelson, Battle of the Nile, Cuthbert Collingwood, and the Death of Nelson). ________ MANUSCRIPT: book also contains a very intriguing 4-page ALS from the author with interesting content, and also mentioning the Richelieu play. The letter to B. Webster, Esquire (manager of London's Haymarket Theatre), transcribes as follows: "London | 20th February | 1849. | Dear Sir, | I called at the Hay- | market yesterday with the | hope of seeing you on the | subject alluded to in the | note which I left with your | porter, but was disappointed. | Shall I be more fortunate if | I call on Saturday next, | at one o'clock? I think I | have written a play which | might suit your company, | as at present constituted. | At all events I am certain | I could write one which | would bring the folks to [p.2] see it, if I could obtain | some practical opinion on | the various dramatic visions | I have formed. People acknow- | ledge now that I can write. ["can" is underlined] || I wished also to have | your opinion on a plan | for removing the prohibition | from the Comedy of "Riche- | lieu in Love." It has been | suggested to me to so do up | a Memorial to the Queen, | Prince Albert, and the | new Lord Chamberlain [John Campbell], simul- | taneously, requesting their | interference. The Marquess of Breadalbane is not [p.3] of a country [he was from Scotland] that cherished | so great a respect for | scarlet stockings as Mr | Remble -- and the Queen an- | nounces a desire to favour and revive the Drama -- as | you had the honor of as- | certaining -- at Windsor! | Louis XIV removed the pro- | hibition from the Tartuffe | of Moliere -- and though | I am not Moliere, neither | is our gracious sovereign | the Grand Monarque! She | might perhaps be induced | to imitate so royal an ex- | ample. Your co-operation | would of course be of | great value; but the [p.4] only essential point with | me is to learn whether | it would be unpleasing to | you to be mentioned in | the affair? || If the day and hour I | have named are incon- | venient to you, be so kind | as to name others more | suitable, when I call, and | your will much oblige, | Dear Sir, | Yours very faithfully, | E.L. [E. Lytton]." ________ Bound in 3/4 red morocco over red cloth; spine with five raised bands; gilt across bands and with gilt framed panels; gilt title in 2nd panel, author name in 3rd panel, and "Extra Illustrated" at tail of spine; red cloth endppaers; top page edges gilt; engraved "play writers" bookplate of George Saltonstall Mumford. ________ Most playwrights did not receive much for their efforts, but as Booth writes, "... the only dramatist to do at all well during the 1830s and 1840s was Bulwer-Lytton. Macready gave him £600 for Richelieu at Covent Garden in 1839 (after he had refused to accept any payment for The Lady of Lyons), and Webster £200 more for the rights to represent Richelieu in London (at the Haymarket) for three years. Bulwer-Lytton also received from Webster £600 for The Sea-Captain (1839) and £600 for Money (1840). Except for The Sea-Captain these were all great successes. No other author could command either Bulwer-Lytton's literary prestige or his fees." --Booth, Michael R. "The Social and Literary Xontext." in The Revels History of Drama in English, eds. Clifford Leech and T. W. Craik. London: Methuen, 1975, p. 48 ________ Allingham writes about the play: "Richelieu; or, The Conspiracy, staged at Covent Garden in 1839 with Macready himself in the eponymous role, was faster paced and more tightly plotted than either his first play, The Duchess de la Vallière (Jan.,1837, at Covent Garden) or his second, The Lady of Lyons (Feb., 1838, at Covent Garden). Each of these is constructed around a powerful central character (a proud woman, a socially responsible youth, and a capricious but omniscient sage respectively). The Prospero-like manipulativeness and cunning deception of the protagonist made the male lead of Richelieu irresistible to many of the nineteenth-century British theatre's male stars, especially Sir Henry Irving, who mounted four revivals." --Philip V. Allingham, Contributing Editor, "Edward Bulwer, Successful Dramatist" in Victorian Web; Faculty of Education, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario ________ Among some of the more memorable lines from this play are: "You speak / As one who fed on poetry" (Act I. Sc. vi); "Beneath the rule of men entirely great, / The pen is mightier than the sword." (Act. II, Sc ii): "In the lexicon of youth, which fate reserves / For a bright manhood, there is no such word / As 'fail' " (Act. III, Sc.i); "Ambition has no risk' (Act III, Sc. i); and "Our glories float between the earth and heaven / Like clouds which seem pavilions of the sun. (Act V, Sc. iii). ________ Sadleir. XIX Century Fiction, No. 437. ________ ALL IN FINE CONDITION.
      [Bookseller: MOSHER BOOKS]
Last Found On: 2013-01-04           Check availability:      IOBABooks    

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