Books Should Be Free
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

Athaliah A Tragedy, Intended For Reading Only, Translated Into English Blank Verse, From Racine (A. Gombert's Edition, 1825)   By:

Book cover

In J. Donkersley's translation of "Athaliah," originally written by Racine, readers are transported into a world of tragedy, intrigue, and power. The play, set in biblical times, revolves around the character of Athaliah, a queen driven by an insatiable thirst for dominion. Donkersley's translation beautifully brings to life the haunting atmosphere of the story, immersing readers in the emotional depths of the characters.

One of the most notable aspects of this translation is the masterful use of blank verse. Donkersley captures the essence and poetic nature of Racine's original work, creating a rhythmic and melodious flow that resonates with every line. The use of this form enhances the dramatic elements of the play, adding an almost musical quality to the dialogue. It is a testament to Donkersley's skill as a translator to bring Racine's words to life in a way that beautifully replicates the original work.

The characterization in "Athaliah" is another strength of this translation. Athaliah, as the central figure, is a complex and multi-faceted character. Donkersley's portrayal captures the regal authority and manipulative nature of this formidable queen, allowing readers to witness her descent into desperation and paranoia. Supporting characters, such as Joad and Josabeth, are equally well-drawn, providing a balance of virtues and flaws that complements Athaliah's arc.

While the plot of "Athaliah" may be known to many, Donkersley's translation keeps the suspense alive, providing fresh nuances and insights into the characters' thoughts and motivations. The themes of power, religion, and loyalty are beautifully explored, showcasing the timeless nature of Racine's work. Under Donkersley's translation, readers are able to fully engage with the emotional turmoil and moral dilemmas faced by each character, creating a thought-provoking and riveting reading experience.

The edition itself, published in 1825, adds a layer of historical significance to this translation. A. Gombert's edition preserves the essence of the original work, making it accessible to a whole new audience. The inclusion of footnotes and annotations assists readers in delving deeper into the play's historical context, providing a richer understanding of the themes and references.

In summary, J. Donkersley's translation of "Athaliah" is a remarkable achievement. With a masterful use of blank verse, he captures the beauty and depth of Racine's original work, creating a melodious and captivating reading experience. This edition, published in 1825, ensures that this classic tragedy will continue to enthrall readers for generations to come.

First Page:


A Tragedy,

Intended For Reading Only ,

Translated Into English Blank Verse,


( A. Gombert's Edition, 1825 ,)

By J. Donkersley.



Racine, the author of Athalie (Athaliah), flourished in the latter half of the 17th century. At his appearance, Corneille, the great French Dramatist, was in the full splendour of his fame, whose rival he was afterwards recognised to be. Athalie is a Tragedy in rhyme, consisting of six Iambic feet, similar to the Alexandrine verse found occasionally in our English poets at the termination of a sentence or paragraph. Dryden, and a few others of less note, in the reign of Charles IL, introduced the rhyming drama to the English public; but the clank of its fetters was unpleasant to the British ear, which had become attuned to the freedom and majesty of blank verse. Blank verse, therefore, being our recognised vehicle of dramatic productions, has been employed in this translation. I did, however, intend in the first place to render the chorus into rhyme; but after maturer consideration it appeared to me that irregular blank verse would be more capable of tragic expression; and that it would also be more in harmony with the Hebrew rhythm as represented by the scriptures, from which the plot was appropriated.

In carrying out my conception of what the translation ought to be, I have endeavoured to preserve the dignity of the subject, without sacrificing the freedom of dramatic force... Continue reading book >>

eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book

Popular Genres
More Genres
Paid Books