This is a set of nine volumes from the 'Oeuvres Completes de Voltaire', published in 1825.
Voltaire's complete works or "Oeuvres Completes" consisted of 100 volumes. This listing is for nine volumes of Voltaire's theatre/plays, all in French text, and dated M DCCC XXV (1825.)
Almost 200 years old these books are very rare and collectible, they have leather spines and marbleised cardboard covers.
They are 'aged to perfection' and will give you an instant 'old library' effect and add an extra 'French chic' to your collection!
These nine books are in genuine antique condition, as you can see from the photos, the spines are delicate and have sustained some damage. The pages have 'age spots' and edge discoloration which adds to their charm and authenticity. I've left them exactly as I found them because they're authentic.
They need to be handled with respect for their age and condition.
Most importantly they have that 'old book smell' reminiscent of libraries and bookshops from a by-gone era - fabulously comforting.
Voltaire (21 November 1694 – 30 May 1778) was a French Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher famous for his wit. He was a critic of Christianity, especially the Roman Catholic Church. He advocated freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and separation of church and state. A versatile and prolific writer, producing works in almost every literary form. This includes plays, poems, novels, essays and historical and scientific works. He wrote more than 20,000 letters and more than 2,000 books and pamphlets. He was an outspoken advocate of civil liberties, despite the risk this placed him in under the strict censorship laws of the time. As a satirical polemicist, he frequently made use of his works to criticize intolerance, religious dogma and the French institutions of his day.
Voltaire wrote between fifty and sixty plays, these fabulous books contain a wide selection them.
The books are all complete with no loose pages and are completely readable.
The volumes are as follows:
Volume 3 - Tome I: Théatre: This volume starts with 'Oedipus', a tragedy that was first performed in 1718. It was Voltaire's first play and the first literary work for which he used the pen-name Voltaire (his real name was François-Marie Arouet). It also contains the play 'Marianne', from 1724. This tragedy is set in ancient Jerusalem, and portrays the tragic death of Mariamne at the hands of her jealous husband, Herod the Great, king of Judea.
Volume 4 - Tome II: Théatre: This book contains several of Voltaire's plays including 'Ériphyle', a tragedy in five acts, and 'Zaïre', a five-act tragedy in verse by Voltaire. Written in only three weeks, it was given its first public performance on 13 August 1732 by the Comédie française in Paris.
Volume 5 - Tome III: Théatre: This book has several plays including 'Mérope' a tragedy in five acts by Voltaire. The text is a reworking by Voltaire of the Italian tragedy Merope (1713) by Scipione Maffei, dating from 1736/1737. The play premiered in 1743 and first appeared in print in 1744.
Volume 7 - Tome V: Théatre: This book has 'Tancrède', a tragedy in five acts by Voltaire that premiered on 3 September 1760. It also contains 'Olympie', his 1751 tragedy.
Volume 8 - Tome VI: Théatre: This volume contains 'Sophonisbe', a tragedy in five acts by Voltaire. The play, printed in 1769 but dated 1770, was a stage failure when it premiered in 15 January 1774. It also contains 'Don Pèdre, roi de Castille' (Don Pedro, King of Castille) his tragedy in five acts from 1774.
Volume 9 - Tome VII: Théatre: This volume contains one of Voltaire's most famous plays 'Irène'. A tragedy in five acts, his penultimate play. It was written in 1776-1777 and premiered in Paris on March 16, 1778. It also has the play 'Socrate', from 1759, set in Ancient Greece during the events just before the trial and death of Greek philosopher Socrates.
Volume 10 - Tome VIII: Théatre: This volume contains several plays including 'L'Enfant Prodigue' a comedy by Voltaire in five acts, in verses of ten syllables. It was first performed on October 10, 1736,
Volume 11 - Tome VIII: Théatre: This volume includes 'Nanine' a comedy play from 1749 and 'Le Dépositaire', Voltaire’s last comedy, echoing Molière.
Volume 12 - Tome X: Théatre: This volume includes 'La Princesse de Navarre' (The Princess of Navarre), a comédie-ballet first performed on 23 February 1745 at La Grande Ecurie, Versailles. It also has 'Tanis et Zélide', the tragic tale of Queen Zelide of Egypt.
If you choose to stand them up (like a normal library shelf) then you need a space 21cms/ 8¼" high x 26cms/ 10¼" long and 13cms/ 5" deep.
They weigh 5.2 kgs/ 11.4 lbs altogether.
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Your purchase will be carefully packaged and shipped from France. It will be fully tracked and insured.
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