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ALS to His Son About His Opium Addiction

$2550 net
Item: 22920
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BERLIOZ, HECTOR. (1803-1869). French composer of Harold in Italy, Symphonie fantastique, as well as other orchestral and opera masterpieces. ALS. (“H. Berlioz”). 2pp. On the first and fourth pages of a single folded sheet. 8vo. N.p., N.d. (ca. 1854). To his son, LOUIS (1834-1867). In French with translation.

“I went twice to Mr. Besric [?] without finding him home; will go back. But there is no hurry. What is urgent is that you let me know explicitly about the poor state of your finances, dear friend. You tell me what the next months will cost you without telling me what you owe. Please let me know so I can take the appropriate measures to send your money promptly. You must not conceal anything, what must be done, shall be done; so be it. You scare me with your opium; I did not know about that. You now experience stomach problems? I needed that extra worry! Morel did not write me! Farewell, I am in too much pain to write more.”

Offspring of Berlioz’s ill-fated marriage to the Irish actress, Harriet Smithson, Louis “was a well-formed lad… [whose] behavior, which was problematic from the first, was affected by the tensions of his bicultural parentage and the language barriers at home,” (Berlioz, Holoman). Only when he had reached early manhood did the father-son relationship take a turn for the better: after the deaths of Smithson and Berlioz’s second wife, the Spanish­-French singer, Marie Recio. By this time, Louis had joined the merchant marine, a source of great pride for his father, as was Louis’ appreciation of Berlioz’s music, particularly the opera, Les Troyens. Then, too, “Louis had, for his part, moments of wisdom and insight: ‘I know I have sometimes been a trial to him, but I am very young… and young people go through terrible times… God willing he will someday be proud of his son,’” (ibid.). Louis’ death from yellow fever at 32 was a blow from which Berlioz never fully recovered. Auguste Morel, his “intimate friend,” was the director of the Marseilles Conservatory, (Berlioz, quoted in the Everyman’s Library translation of Berlioz’s autobiography, ed. Rhys).

Likely penned the year of Smithson’s death and in fine condition.

ALS to His Son About His Opium Addiction

$2550 net • item #22920

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