University Archives


Alexandre Dumas Fils Signed Quote About the Nature of Humanity & Divinity

A stock card fully engrossed in French by Alexandre Dumas Fils (1824-1895), and signed by him as "A Dumas Fs." Undated. The 21-word aphorism was almost certainly from one of Dumas Fils's works, currently unidentified, but found reproduced in quote form at least two contemporary magazines. A minor fold in the lower left corner. Scrapbook album mounting traces verso, else near fine. 5" x 2.625."

The card is transcribed in full, with unchanged spelling and punctuation:

"'quand l'homme ne donnera plus la mort à son prochain il ne la craindra plus pour lui même, il sera dieu.'

A Dumas F[il]s."


"'When man no longer metes out death to his nearest he will no longer fear it for himself, he will be god.'

A Dumas F[il]s."

This quote appeared in print in at least two nineteenth- and twentieth-century magazines, "Le Monde et la Mode en Miniature" (1873) and "Les Annales Politiques et Littéraires" (1904), both times attributed to Alexandre Dumas Fils. In the second journal, the quote has changed slightly to read: "Quand l'homme ne donnera plus la mort à son semblable [trans: equal, fellow man] et ne redoutera [trans: to dread] plus pour lui même, il sera dieu."

Alexandre Dumas Fils was the son of Alexandre Dumas Père (1802-1870), a celebrated French writer of mixed race heritage. Fils produced his most famous work, "La Dame aux Camélias" (commonly entitled "Camille" in English language versions) in 1848. The story about a beautiful but reckless courtesan dying of tuberculosis inspired Giuseppe Verdi's opera "La Traviata."

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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