Irène – Tragédie

1779124 x 195 mm

ORIGINAL EDITION by David for Léon Rattier.

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FIRST EDITION of this tragedy performed for the first time on 16 March 1778 by the King's ordinary actors.

Begun in Argental in December 1776, Irène was sent on 25 October 1777: "The tragedy by Monsieur de Voltaire, which we were told he was working on a few months ago, was recently given to the actors by Monsieur le Comte d'Argental. They read it and judged it weak: but not daring to refuse it, to save time at least, and not to give in to the earnest entreaties of the friend of the illustrious old man, they wrote to him, under the pretext of asking him to cast the roles. This tragedy, first entitled Alexisis now called Irène" (Secret memories).

The distribution and confrontation of the roles ofIrène took place at Voltaire's home in Paris on Sunday 22 February 1778, in the presence of the Duc de Richelieu. The play was performed on the following 16 March. During the sixth performance, Voltaire's bust was crowned on the Comédie-Française theatre.
Voltaire wished to dedicate this play to the Académie, and the publisher Kehl is said to have had a few copies printed for his colleagues, including a "Letter from M. de Voltaire to the Académie française".

The copy of the great bibliophile and cousin of Edmond de Goncourt, Léon Rattier (ex-libris), perfectly bound by David

Paris,No publisher's name,1779.In-8, Bound,124 x 195 mm,62 pp.

Binding by David, full red jansenist morocco, ribbed spine, double filleting on covers, richly ornamented bordered spine flaps, double filleting on edges, all edges gilt. Small tear on one endpaper.



François-Marie Arouet

(Paris: 21 November 1694 - 30 May 1778)

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