Massenet, Jules. (1842–1912)
"During these emotional days for you your old friend will be far away" - Autograph Letter Signed following the Dreyfus Conviction
Intriguing autograph letter signed from the important French operatic composer, dated exactly one week after the conviction of Alfred Dreyfus. 3 pp., October 22, 1894, addressed to a "Dear good friend." Translated from the French, "The hazards of life and the hard necessity to obey it means that during these emotional days for you your old friend will be far away, in the cold, in the worries, in Brussels... - though I am unwell I will have to leave Paris - in spite of everything! and I leave!... - what thought will be mine! I do not add anything to this. Your grateful old friend, -Massenet" Some fold lines, otherwise in very fine condition. 8.75 x 7 inches (23.4 x 18 centimeters).
Alfred Dreyfus (1859 – 1935), a French Jewish artillery officer, was put on trial and convicted on October 15, 1894 on charges of treason, becoming one of the most tense political dramas in modern French history with a wide echo in all Europe. Known today as the Dreyfus affair, the incident eventually ended with Dreyfus’s complete exoneration. While it is impossible to say for certain, it seems that in the present letter Massenet is likely referencing the "emotional" socio-political unrest occurring in Paris during that time, and thus his departure to Brussels despite his ailments.