Item #21241 [Original Manuscript Translation] Marie [Mary] Stuart: A Drama. Translated from the German of Schiller. Friedrich Schiller, Mary A. Batchelder, trans.
[Original Manuscript Translation] Marie [Mary] Stuart: A Drama. Translated from the German of Schiller
[Original Manuscript Translation] Marie [Mary] Stuart: A Drama. Translated from the German of Schiller

[Original Manuscript Translation] Marie [Mary] Stuart: A Drama. Translated from the German of Schiller

Boston? 1854]. Good. Item #21241

[Boston? Oct. 17, 1854.] Small square quarto (19cm.); contemporary calf-backed marbled paper-covered boards, the translator's manuscript title along upper cover spine edge and spine, all edges marbled; [2],39pp. of manuscript text, the remaining approx. 150pp. blank; pale blue lined stock. Leather dried and quite rubbed with brief loss at spine crown, joints cracked but holding, boards a bit soiled, else Good, internally fine.

An amateur unpublished and incomplete translation of Friderich Schiller's historical play "Mary Stuart," set during the imprisonment and final days of Mary, Queen of Scots. First produced in Weimar in 1800, Joseph Mellish's English translation appeared in London the following year, though the same text would not make its way across the Atlantic until almost forty years later, in a Philadelphia, 1840, edition. Though it is difficult to pinpoint exactly who this translator was, we find records of a Mary A. Batchelder, born in Charlestown, Massachusetts, ca. 1835, who may have attended a bastardized performance of the play, though sources indicate that the earliest American production attributed to Schiller was not performed in the United States in the English language until 1865 (preceded by a French-language production in 1855), at Philadelphia's Walnut Street Theatre. According to the same source "It has been equally impossible to identify the 'Mary Stuart' produced at the Tremont Theatre, Boston, on Dec. 13, 1829, by Mrs. J.R. Duff, at a single performance for this lady's benefit" (see F.E. Chase's Introduction to the Boston, 1904, edition of "Mary Stuart," p. 7). Batchelder's translation is certainly more colloquial than Mellish's Shakespearean rendition, perhaps a result of the fifty years and geographical separation between the two. The first scene opens on Hannah Kennedy, attendant to Mary, Queen of Scots, and Paulet, a knight and the Queen's keeper, as the latter tries to break into a closet (or trunk) at the Castle of Fotheringay just after Mary's sentence but before Elizabeth's signing of the death warrant. Mellish's translation of the first few lines as follows:

Kennedy: How now, sir? What fresh outrage have we here?
Back from that cabinet!

Paulet: Whence came the jewel?
I know 'twas from an upper chamber thrown;
And you would bribe the gardener with your trinkets.
A curse on woman's wiles! In spite of all
My strict precaution and my active search,
Still treasures here, still costly gems concealed!

Batchelder's translation of the same lines are as follows:

Kennedy: What are you doing, Sir? What new audacity! Back from this trunk!

Paulet. Whence came this ornament? From the upper story it would have been cast down; the gardener would have been bribed by this finery--A curse upon women's craft! In spite of my inspection, to my close search, yet here are jewels, yet hidden treasures!

This translation of Schiller's work, which sadly ends mid-sentence, something of a clunker, though a valuable source of linguistic interpretation and the wild discrepancies two speakers of the same language can reach from an identical source.

Price: $350.00