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    Two Manuscript Drafts of Anatole France's Article About Jeanne d'Arc

    Anatole France (pseudonym of Jacques Anatole Thibault, French author and Nobel Laureate, 1844-1924). Autograph Manuscripts of L'Opinion des Docteurs, an article which appeared in La Revue Hebdomadaire, Vol. XIX, December 1893. [N.p., n.d., ca. 1893]. This manuscript consists of two apparent drafts (each with considerable corrections and notes), containing most, if not all, of the article. One draft consists of forty-five octavo pages on forty-five leaves. Approximately 9 x 7 inches. Written in purple ink on light blue paper. The other draft consists of nine folio pages on eight leaves (although one page seems to be missing about one-fifth of its upper portion). Approximately 12 x 8 inches. Written in black ink with some additions and corrections in purple ink on plain white paper. Both drafts have wear, several tears and missing chips, as well as soiling, although the folio sheets seem to be in rougher condition. Generally, very good. The octavo sheets are housed in a custom-built cloth clamshell case. It is unknown which of these drafts is earlier, or if they were written simultaneously.

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    This article about medieval female prophets (especially Jeanne d'Arc) evidently served as the basis of his later work, his controversial biography of Jeanne d'Arc (La Vie de Jeanne d'Arc, 1908), in which the Maid of Orleans was portrayed as an innocent pawn of immoral and ruthless clerics. For this, and many other works critical of the Roman Catholic Church, his entire works were put on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum by the church (France himself was delighted by this and treated it as a "distinction"). This Index was abolished in 1966.

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    Auction Dates
    April, 2013
    10th Wednesday
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