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    Alexander Dumas Autograph Manuscript Signed. Six pages, 8.5" x 10.5", [Italy]; [circa 1862-1863]. A manuscript on prison reform, in French, titled "Aux Forcats Du Bagne De Nirida." [To the Convicts of Nirida Prison]. It presumably contributed to the Naples newspaper, L'Independent, of which Dumas was the founder and editor. Dumas traveled throughout Italy during the early 1860s to attempt to aid in Italian unification. While there, he befriended Giuseppe Garibaldi and the two men worked together for a time. It reads in part [English Translation]:

    "However great be the crime he has committed, man never ceases to be man, for God has given him repentance which, if he is sincere, makes the guilty one more pleasing to the eye than the just person who has never sinned. A great poet names Shakespeare has said, 'There is but one crime which is without pardon because it has no repentance-it is suicide'. They are criminals who, belonging to the Bourgeoisie or the Nobility have arrived by favor or power of money, never to work in the least....or not to be shut up like their colleagues in the prisons."

    Dumas goes on to propose three improvements to the prison system. The first of which was to allow the prisoners to read the newspaper during their relaxation time. He then offers to donate "a little library of fifty volumes chosen from the best historians, philosophers, preachers and even Hatian [sic] poets." The third suggestion was a weekly prize of five francs to reward good behavior to be distributed to five prisoners every Sunday. "...write me - and...I will deposit...in the governor's hands the good conduct prize for the first six months - five francs per week is not much, I know, but what would we have - If I were richer, I would do more." Signed, "Alc. Dumas."

    Condition: Uneven left edge. A few minor areas of ink smudging and blotting that do not affect the legibility of the text. Smoothed folds.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2021
    6th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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