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DUMAS Alexandre fils - Autograph Letter Signed 1879

  • £115.00

Alexandre DUMAS, fils (1824-1895)

Autograph Letter Signed (“A Dumas”) to “Mon cher Manuel” discussing the Council of Trent’s rulings on adultery.

2 pages 8vo in French, the envelope, addressed to Monsieur Manuel at 17 Place de la Madeleine tipped on to the integral blank leaf, n.p. [but Paris], dated in another hand, and postmarked, 3 November 1879.                             

Trans: “I found the discussion of the Council of Trent on adultery . . . but you, at what time will I find you? I would like to speak with you about all these works . . . I am wary of pamphlets – where is the proof of the indulgences you speak of . . . I could meet you when you like and you would take me to your library.

Pallavicino wrote . . . on the Council of Trent which often contradicts Soave and Sarpi, accusing them of lies and blasphemies . . . , saying there were many grievous abuses in the sale of indulgences by Julius II and Leo X. . .

In 1880, Dumas published The Question of Divorce, describing it in his introduction as a rebuttal of Family and Divorce by the Abbé Vidieu. His work was largely in support of the proposal by Alfred Naquet, member of the National Assembly, to reinstate the right to divorce, which had been banned since 1816, at the restoration of the Bourbons. The bill re-establishing divorce was eventually passed in 1884.

The Venetian cleric Paolo Sarpi published a history of the Council of Trent in 1619 under the pseudonym Pietro Soave Polano. Sarpi had already earned a reputation as a Venetian patriot by his disregard for Paul V’s excommunication of Venetians, an attitude with which most of the Venetian clergy concurred. His history was highly critical of the Papal Curia, but admired by John Milton. The Jesuit Pallavicino’s work, commissioned by the Pope as a rebuttal of Sarpi, appeared some forty years later.


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