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The Marandet Collection of French Plays

The University of Warwick's Marandet collection of 18th- and 19th-century French plays is a unique resource and one of the most significant collections of its kind in the country. There are over 2000 plays from the period 1700-1830 and a similar number from the period 1830-1900. Most of the plays were acquired originally by a 19th-century French collector, Amédée Marandet, who was himself an actor and playwright. Many of the works and their authors have now been forgotten but the collection is extremely rich in popular drama of the 18th and 19th centuries.


Bibliographical introduction

In 1979, Jean Emelina and Peter Larkin produced a Guide to the Marandet Collection of French Plays 1700-1830 held in the University of Warwick Library. This bibliographical introduction to the collection can be consulted as a pdf file here.

In 2006-07 and 2007-08, a generous grant from the University's Education Innovation Fund enabled students to be involved in the process of selecting and digitally preserving plays from the period 1799-1815. Those who wished then had the opportunity of producing original research based on ‘their’ plays.

In 2008-09, the Library had a significant award from the JISC digitisation programme to extend the digitisation of the Marandet collection to include a further 1500 plays dating from 1703 to 1830. The project to continue to improve access and raise the profile of the collection continues.

An article about the collection was published by Katherine Astbury and Clare Siviter in 2017: ‘La collection de pièces de théâtre d’Amédée Marandet à la bibliothèque de l’Université de Warwick’, in Collectionner la Révolution française, ed. by Gilles Bertrand, Michel Biard, Alain Chevalier, Martial Poirson et Pierre Serna (Paris : Société des études robespierristes, 2017), pp. 257-66

Marandet Matters

Marandet Matters is an online journal publishing original research by undergraduate students working on plays in the Marandet collection. The issues can be consulted here.

If you have any queries or would like to find out more, please contact Katherine Astbury in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, or Ed Kirkland in the Library.

For an interview with Katherine Astbury about the Marandet collection click here.

There are 4 separate collections of plays covering The Ancien Régime, The Revolution, the Empire and the Restoration. Enter the database of digitised plays directly here: opens in a new window.

Information about performance dates, reception, actors relating to the plays from the Revolutionary period can be found on the CESAR website here CESAR - Calendrier Electronique des Spectacles sous l'Ancien Régime (