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Book by Dumas, Alexandre
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Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French
Ostensibly about the French king Charles VII during the Hundred Years' War, this first English translation of a five-act tragedy Dumas published in 1831 protesting the slave trade really concerns the African slave Yacoub. The translator's thorough introduction, notes, and bibliography show that Dumas, partly black, wrote much about bias. But critical reaction to the play has always been mixed. There is subtle irony showing the king a de facto slave because he is pushed into war against England, but Yacoub himself seems more sullen than noble, his ringing alexandrine speeches vying with his platitudes. He and the wife of the count who enslaved him fall in love, and she pushes him into murdering her husband. This does lead to tragedy, Yacoub's final freedom notwithstanding. Yes, slavery was bad, but the quality of this play is merely academic.
- Kenneth Mintz, Hoboken P.L., N.J.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # Q-1879360004