Histoire de La Tour de Nesle de Dumas père et Gaillardet

The French drama La Tour de Nesle was written by Alexandre Dumas père and the short-tempered Frédéric Gaillardet, who sued his collaborator six times. Because of their feud, the two writers gave contradictory versions of their part in this work. A reading of the Gazette des Tribunaux, which published the minutes of the trials, convinces us that Dumas told the truth about the history of the play, which is as eventful as the play itself. The Middle Ages in general, and the legend of the tower of Nesle in particular, were very popular during the period of Romanticism. A young lawyer of Tonnerre, Gaillardet, wrote a mediocre and unplayable drama on this subject in 1832. He read it to Harel, director of the Théâtre de la Porte-Sainte-Martin, who accepted it under the condition that it be revised. Then Harel urged Dumas to remodel the play, which he did, keeping very little of the original, and asking that his name be replaced by *** on the play-bill. After the smashing success of the play, through a strange aberration, Gaillardet convinced himself for a long time, that he was the only author. This masterpiece of the melodrama has been revised many times on the stage, the screen and on television. (In French.) (FB)

Bassan, Fernande
Volume 1974-1975 Fall-Winter; 3(1-2): 40-57.