La folle journee ou le marriage de Figaro, comedie en cinq actes, en prose
by Beaumarchais, Pierre Augustin Caron De
[Paris]: au Palais Royal, chez Ruault, 1785. First edition, 8vo, pp. , lvi, 237; later full speckled calf, red morocco label on gilt decorated spine; slight wear at the top of the spine, else generally a fine copy. Contemporary ownership inscription of Alfred Vaux. Beaumarchais (1732-1799) aided the American cause by purchasing supplies for the American army in the Revolution. This play is his famous sequel to his earlier Le Barbier de Seville. It was first performed in 1784 and because of its immediate success there are many editions printed in 1785, this being the first. It was the later inspiration for the operas of Rossini and Mozart. Tchemerzine, II, p. 14-15: "The first edition was published without illustrations. Very soon after 5 illustrations by St Quentin were added." Printing and the Mind of Man 230: "Public interest was whetted by its satirical references to the aristocracy, and it was this that first won it fame. Although greeted with enthusiasm by French society, it in fact contributed largely to its destruction. It is, however, the music of Mozart which has immortalized it as the perfect type of comedy...no one can doubt its immortality."
(Inventory #: 48621)
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