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Imagine brilliant, fiery flowers in the sky over Paris. Such is the image conjured by this magnificent binding that originally covered La Déclamation Théâtrale. La Déclamation, published in 1766, is a didactic poem comprising four songs about the rules governing tragedy, comedy, opera and dancing. Its author, Claude J. Dorat, was frequently scorned by critics, but persisted in producing an explosion of written works. He was rumoured to have ensured the success of his plays by buying up all the seats with his own money and he died, penniless, in 1780. Though his legacy is not that of a major master, one cannot help but admire his incandescent desire to create.