Martel, Zaïre-Nathalie, known as Mademoiselle Nathalie, French actress (1816-1885). Autograph letter signed.

N. p. o. d., [1852-1876].

8vo. 1 p.


Interesting letter to the administrator of the Comédie-Française, addressed as "my director", affirming that she will do as he pleases in an unspecified matter, even though she fears to "reap the reward" for commiting "the little sin of pride": "Tout ce que mon directeur désire est une loi pour moi. J'avais eu déjà cette idée mais n'aurais pas osé la mettre à exécution comme cela mon directeur commettra le petit péché d'orgueil et j'en recueillerai le fruit. J'ai l'honneur d'être sa pensionnaire dévouée. Les plus grands soins pour ma chère Lotte s'il vous plaît".

After various engagements in Paris, Nathalie had her successful debut at the Comédie-Française in 1848 and was elected Sociétaire in 1852. Today, Mademoiselle Nathalie is best known for a violent altercation with the young Sarah Bernhardt on 15 January 1863. Bernhardt had just debuted at the Comédie a few months earlier when her younger sister Regina accompanied her to a ceremony on the occasion of Molière's birthday. During the event, Regina accidentally stepped on the train of Mademoiselle Nathalie's gown, who forcefully pushed the young woman away. In the ensuing altercation, Sarah slapped the Sociétaire and caused her to fall. As Mademoiselle Nathalie would not apologize to Regina, Sarah Bernhardt refused to apologize in turn, which led to her being dismissed from the Comédie-Française. Although Bernhardt's debut at the Comédie had been far from successful, her dismissal came close to a death sentence for her career. The premiere of Victor Hugo's "Ruy Blas" on 16 January 1872 marked Sarah Bernhardt's triumphal return to the Comédie-Française.

On stationery with blindstamped monogram "NM". Minor tears and stains.

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