The Marriage of Figaro
BEAUMARCHAIS, Pierre Augustin Caron de. Folle Journée, ou Le Mariage de Figaro. Comédie en cinq Actes, en Prose. Representee pour la premier fois par les Comediens Francais ordinaires du Roi, le Mardi 27 Avril 1794. Paris: Chez Ruault, Librarie, Pres. Le Theatre , 1785.
First edition, first issue. Octavo (7 5/8 x 4 3/4 inches; 193 x 121 mm). [4], lvi, 237, [1, blank] pp. With five plates after Saint-Quentin (the first four engraved by C.N. Malapeau and the fifth by Roi). Half-title present.

Nineteenth-century full green morocco by Petit, triple gilt ruled borders, spine gilt in compartments and with central flower devices, gilt spine lettering, gilt board edges and turn-ins, densely gilt burgundy morocco doublures, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. Typographic bookplate of Joseph Manuel Andreini (and an engraved Andreini plate right beneath it). Morocco-edged slipcase. A sumptuous presentation for this scarce and desirable title.

Le Mariage de Figaro, Beaumarchais’ masterpiece, influenced French literature by reviving the “comedy of intrigue,” which had declined since Molière. In addition, Le Mariage de Figaro was one of the first plays which fully incorporated Diderot’s theories of acting and stage–craft.

“In 1784, the year of its first performance, it was repeated sixty–six times...

“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...”

Cohen-de Ricci, cols. 125-126. Printing and the Mind of Man 230.

HBS # 65361 $2,000