A Fresh Look at Giulia Grisi

not only in terms of the brilliance of her career and
the roles she created, but also in terms of the roles created by others
that she later assumed and made her own.1 Yet, while there is at least
one book devoted to both her and her common law husband, the tenor
Mario, there is still apparently no full length biography, devoted
exclusively to her life and artistry 2 .
This is a curious fact, especially if one considers the very large
number of books written about her contempories, Malibran and Lind, and
numerous others about
Sontag, Pasta, Viardot, and Alboni, all active on the lyric stage
during the same or overlapping periods in the nineteenth century.

Henry Pleasants, writing in his book The Great Singers3 offers what may be a
partial explanation:

Giulia Grisi’s contributions
to operatic history, ie in the form of enduring roles written for or
created by her, were confined to the early years of her career,
overlooking, of course, the hardly epochal role of Norina in Don
. She sang the first Adalgisa to Pasta’s Norma in
Milan in
1831, and she was in the premiere casts of I puritani
and I Capuleti ed
i Montecchi
4 .
For the rest, her best parts were those
identified with Pasta: Semiramis and Ann Boleyn – from whom she took
them over, and upon whose interpretations she modelled her own. She was
a memorable Lucrezia Borgia , and she excelled in lighter roles

Rosina, Norina, Susanna, Pamina and Elisetta (in Il
matrimonio segreto
— but so also, surprisingly, had Pasta.

Her genius — if that is not too strong a word — was
imitative rather than
creative. When it was expended in areas compatible with her voice and
dramatic temperament, she approached and may have matched the
achievements of her models. Her endowment of voice and personal beauty
was superior to that of either Pasta or Malibran and her performances
less likely to be blemished by effort or mishap. Simply because of the
absence of any sense of hazard, they may also have been less exciting 5 .

Pleasants was by no means the first person to suggest that Grisi was
little more than an imitator of Pasta. This accusation was made as
early as 1850 by Pauline Viardot, who can be regarded as
Grisi’s bitter enemy. Viardot’s hostility towards
Grisi was probably due to the fact that Grisi’s early success
in London in 1834 had driven her older sister, Maria Malibran, out of
King’s Theatre that year. To quote Cox 6 :
Grisi, therefore, for the time being, crushed Malibran, there can be no
doubt; but that the ‘Garcia’ would have had her
revenge is more than probable, since she was rapidly recovering her
diminished position, when she was untowardly smitten by the hand of
death at the Manchester Musical Festival of the year 1836.” The
accusation was repeated by Chorley in 1862 7 .
It, too, is worthy of
examination since he contradicts himself in his discussion of
Grisi. He starts out by saying:

Madame Grisi has been remarkable for her
cleverness in adopting the ideas of others more thoughtful and
originally inventive than herself. With two exceptions, her most
popular personations have followed those of other actresses. Her Norma,
doubtless her grandest performance, was modelled on that of Madame
Pasta – perhaps in some points was an improvement on the model 8 ….

This can only be interpreted as saying that all her roles except two
were modelled on earlier interpreters. But is Norma an exception, or an
example? It would seem to be an example, if not for the fact that
Chorley later says:

On a level with her Norma was Madame
Grisi’s Lucretia Borgia, Lucrezia even
more original
as a conception, ripened
and coloured into a superb and glowing picture as years went on 9

This would imply that her Norma was also an original conception. If
that were the case, then Chorley would be saying that all her major
roles. with the exception of Norma and Lucrezia Borgia are
copies. An impossibility, since she herself created Norina in
Don Pasquale
and Elvira in I puritani,
and heard neither Pasta nor Malibran as
Semiramide. Also, Anna Bolena was practically her only other major
role, so that would make the imitation the exception rather
than the rule.

Let us go on the assumption that Chorley intended to say that Norma was
an example of her modelling her best roles on those of her
predecessors, and investigate further.

A few years later, in 1872, Cox, who had heard her as far back as 1834
wrote his “recollections” and made similar remarks 10 :

When Mdme Viardot heard Pasta for the
first time in her life, in her decay, she uttered a most
forcible truth, saying “Now I know where Grisi got
all her greatness.” It was from Pasta that the original Adalgisa
obtained the impression how the Norma and Anna Bolena should be
rendered , as it was from Malibran that she gained an insight into the
requirements necessary for the truthful delineation of the unhappy girl
(this refers to Desdemona in Rossini’s Otello)
and as it
likewise was many years afterwards that she learned what was to be made
Valentine in Meyerbeer’s Les
by having witnessed
Mme. Viardot’s perfect version of that interesting character 11

Chorley actually provides more details 12 ,
stating that Grisi appropriated
the part, and with it, took as tradition some of her
predecessor’s inventions — especially those of listening
terror, in the striking conspiracy scene 13 .
On first reading both Cox and Chorley’s descriptions of this incident,
one is
left with the impression that what we have here is a blatant case of
Grisi’s imitating Viardot. And this might have been true had
the role of Valentine been an old favorite of Grisi’s, which
was already part of her repertory, and that she only learned what to
make of, after hearing Viardot. But that does not jibe with the known
facts. The truth is that Grisi never sang the role until May 1849, a
year after hearing Viardot in it, at a time when Viardot was most
probably singing in Paris 14 .
For any actress of Grisi’s proven
ability not to have shown terror during this horrifying but highly
dramatic scene strikes this writer as straining credulity. I might add
that any number of prima donnas, including some famous actresses had
sung Valentine in Paris before Viardot sang it in London 15 , and we have
no way of knowing whether or not the “listening
terror” had not already been invented by some other singer,
perhaps Cornelie Falcon, who created the role, or Rosine Stoltz, who
replaced her in it, before Viardot got around to it. While
Grisi probably only heard Viardot sing the part in London, she had been
engaged for many years at the Théâtre Italien in
Paris while Huguenots
was sung by others at the Opéra. Nor
do we know what improvements Grisi later made to her interpretation of
the role of Valentine.

When I first wrote this article for the Journal of the Donizetti
Society in 1980, I did not realize the extent of the hostility that
Viardot felt towards Grisi, the lengths to which.she would go to make
her rival look bad, and the extent to which she was able to influence
John Cox to accept her version of the story, and to present only
Viardot’s account of the story in his book. As it happened, I
wrote an article on the relationship between Grisi and Viardot many
years after the one for the Donizetti Society 16 , and the research
that article opened my eyes. I will discuss these aspects a little

The adverse criticisms of Grisi made by Chorley and Cox, were, so to
speak. lost in a sea of adulation. While we do not know the basis of
Pleasants’ remarks, they seem to be derived from one or both of
these sources, most probably Cox. Although some of his
observations may be partly justified, they impress one as
unfavourably biased, a bias which Pleasants seems to have inherited
from Cox, who, in turn, was heavily influenced by Viardot. All of these
comments and the question of whether or not Grisi was an imitator bear
closer investigation, because they indicate an attitude that must have
been prevalent for years. Handed down by musicologists of the past
century who devoted much more attention to her contemporaries, they may
have contributed to her neglect by biographers and as Pleasants’
example shows, they have unduly or excessively influenced writers down
to our times. .

Pleasants neglects to mention that her best role, and the one that she
will forever be associated with was Norma. At the world premiere. Norma
had been created by Giuditta Pasta, but as we will see, the role was
later improved upon by Grisi. Pleasants does acknowledge that she was a
memorable Lucretia Borgia, but neglects to point out the important fact
that .she could not possibly have imitated anybody in that role, since
she never heard the work in Italy, and herself created it in both Paris
and London. He does state that her best parts were Semiramide and Anna
Bolena, which she is reputed to have taken over from Pasta. There could
have been some truth to that statement in the case of Anna
since she did hear Pasta in it. However, a review of her first London
attempt at the role, actually compares her portrayal with that of
Pasta, and gives the lie to Cox’s suggestion that she was
essentially imitating Pasta:

“While the deep and thrilling tones of Pasta were
wanting to give its full expression to particular
passages of the music, the freshness of Grisi’s voice, and
the purity of her intonation enabled us to enjoy portions of the opera,
which we have formerly listened to almost with pain. Her wild and
broken-hearted “Giudici! Ad Anna! carried the audience away
with her, and was a genuine burst of inspiration, and her acting and
singing, in the last scene, finished the performance
triumphantly.” 17

On the other hand Pleasants’ statement could not possibly be
true in regard to Semiramide,
which Pasta only sang when
Grisi was known to be performing somewhere else. So Grisi could not
possibly have seen her in the role. Still, it would not have been an
artistic crime for Grisi to have modelled two of her interpretations

Norma and Anna Bolena — on Pasta’s, had she indeed done so:
assumption by no means sufficiently proven. On the contrary, it would
have been unwise of her not to recognise the many qualities Pasta had
brought to these roles and to ignore her contribution to the performing
tradition in the making. It would be comparable to a composer’s
learning from his predecessors. To cite just one example, Verdi learned
a great deal from Donizetti and Mercadante yet no one would call Verdi
an imitator or consider him a lesser composer because he had anchored
his creative genius in the artistic inheritance of the past.

We will confine our analysis of Grisi in opera seria, although she was
an accomplished performer in lighter roles, specifically as Rosina,
Norina, a role she created, Susanna, Amina, Elisetta, and the
semi-seria role of Ninetta, a favourite of hers, which really came much
closer to opera seria than opera buffa. Since we already have a
comparison of the two ladies in Anna
, it will not be necessary
to compare Grisi and Pasta in all the roles that they both sang in
order to substantiate that Grisi was much more than a mere imitator,
although it must also be pointed out that Grisi never attempted many of
Pasta’s favourite roles, including Medea (in Mayr’s opera,
not Cherubini’s or Pacini’s), Tancredi, Romeo (in the works
of two different composers) and a few others. We will, therefore,
further confine our investigation to the most important of these roles
in which Grisi would have been most tempted to imitate her mentor and
rival, since she had been a participant at the premiere in a lesser
role. This memorable opera is, of course, Norma.
We are
fortunate to
have access to enough reviews of Grisi as Norma to demonstrate the fact
that she did much more than imitate Pasta’s creation, she built on it.

But first, a little history, some of which may be common knowledge to
many readers, but which still bears repeating at this point as
background material.

Pasta had created Norma at La Scala on December 26, 1831 with Grisi
singing the lesser role of Adalgisa. At the time Grisi had expressed
the desire to sing Norma some day, and while Bellini put down the idea,
Pasta herself encouraged the young singer, saying that one day she
would fill her shoes. Pasta also was the first Norma in London,
creating the role for an English audience on June 20 1833 but never
sang the role in Paris where it was created by Grisi on December 8,
1835. In the meantime, Grisi had made her Paris debut in late
1832, and her London debut in the spring of 1834. Norma
was not given
in London by the Italian company between 1833, with Pasta in the title
role, and June 25, 1835, when Grisi sang it there for the first time.
While there is a brief review in the Athenaeum,
provides no
details. She sang it again in London on April 16, 1836, and repeated it
in early 1837 as did a soprano named Blasis. Nor did she
relinquish it
to Pasta when the latter returned to London for a series of
performances in the early summer of that year. Pasta only sang three
roles at that time: Romeo in Zingarelli’s opera, Tancredi in an
abridged version of the work, and Medea. Pasta had made her
reappearance on June 22, and on June 29 Anna Bolena
staged for Grisi with Pasta singing the abridged Tancredi later in
the same program. It can be assumed from this that Grisi had already
displaced Pasta as the prima donna assoluta by her fourth London
season. The fourth soprano to attempt Norma in an Italian version in
London was Tosi who sang it in the pre-Easter season of 1840 while
Grisi was still in Paris, and did not create a particularly favourable
impression. Between. 1841 and 1846, the role remained Grisi’s at Her
Majesty’s Theatre, as it did at Covent Garden from 1847, when she
switched to the rival house, until 1861. Lind attempted the role at Her
Majesty’s in 1847 but without critical success, Teresa Parodi fared
somewhat better in 1849, Fiorentini sang it in 1850, Cruvelli succeeded
in it in 1851 and 1852 and finally Titiens triumphed in it in 1859.
Cruvelli could have become one of London’s favourite Normas but chose
marriage and semi-retirement in Nice
instead. Thus only Titiens, who sang the role in almost every season
until her premature death was a significant interpreter of the role in 19th Century London after Grisi.

As mentioned before, Grisi, having sung Norma for the first time in
London in June, 1835, and again in Paris in December of that year, did
not repeat it in London until April 16, 1836. Several days later this
performance was reviewed by the Atheneum,
but not in the same detail as
later performances were to be reviewed by the Musical World.
does this review, quoted below, state that Grisi’s interpretation was
nothing more than a carbon copy of Pasta’s:

was revived this week, with Grisi
as the priestess of Irminsul, Lablache. taking the part of Oroveso, and
a Signora Assandri making her debut on an English stage in the part of
Adalgisa. To criticise the composition of this Opera is unnecessary …
in offering an account of it is sufficient to speak of
the acting and singing of the prima donna. In both, Grisi did more than
justify our highest expectations; if she was not equal to Pasta in
majesty of demeanor – if some of her attitudes were angular, and some
of her motions a little too much hurried for the dignity which tragedy
demands, she approached nearer to her predecessor than any other
actress of the day could do — with the superior advantage, a
altogether unrivalled in force, clearness and abandon of execution.
Nothing could exceed her delivery of the trio in the finale of the
first Act, or the alternate energy and delicacy with which she gave the
duo in the second “Si fino all’ore estreme”, in
both she was most satisfactorily supported by the seconda donna …

Now let us look at what the April 18, 1836 issue of The Times of London
has to say about this performance:

Bellini’s tragic opera of Norma
performed Saturday evening. The public is familiar with the great power
displayed by Grisi in the representati of the principal character,
which is the more striking from the close comparison with her Ninetta,
in La gazza ladra,
the opposite extreme of style. Yet she excels in
both so wonderfully, that it requires a nice judgement to which of them
the preference ought to be given. It would resolve itself, after all
into a judgement of the music or the or the character, not of the
performer, so closely does she identify herself with both. The music of
Rossini is far better than that of Bellini, and the character of
Ninetta dramatically more agreeable than than of Norma. It would be
correct to say, therefore, that we prefer one to the other but not that
Grisi displays greater talent in either. From her magnificent opening,.
the invocation to the moon, the “Casta Diva” in the fourth scene, to
the finale of the second act, in which she ascends the fatal pile, she
bore up the composition as if it were by her own efforts, if efforts
they could be called which evidently cost her nothing, and in some of
the more striking passages communicated an effect on the audience
almost electrical. One instance which occurred in the first scene where
an ordinary performer would have thrown in a mere roulade, or flourish,
but where Grisi merely sustained a long note diminished from her utmost
force to its finest point, was one of the greatest refinements in her
art ever exhibited. The simplicity and
purity of the effect amounted almost to the sublime. It is needless to
say, after this that her reception was of the most distinguished

Grisi was to sing Norma again in London in the 1837, ’38,
‘39, ’41, ’43, ’44, ’45 and ’46 seasons, and actually made
her re-entry in that role in two of these seasons 18 . In 1846, the Musical
was just as warm about her Norma as it had been

On Tuesday, Norma
was performed for the first time. Her Majesty and the Prince were
present. The music of
Bellini, like that of.Donizetti, though pale by the side of the dashing
Rossini, is perfectly refreshing after the stale insipidities and heavy
common-places of “young Verdi”. We felt this in the Sonnambula,
an opera profuse of melody and grace, albeit somewhat
monotonous in character; felt it again in Norma,
though scarcely
as melodious as La
, is higher in attempt and involves many
bursts of true passion; witness the trio in the last act, the
melancholy opening of which is so delicious, and the climax so
exciting. Grisi surpassed herself. She was beautiful, sublime, even
terrible. No Siddons ever exceeded the dignity and passion of the last
act. No Malibran ever went beyond the heart-rending pathos with which
she sang the agitato in the mirror, when on her knees before Oroveso.
No Rachel ever excelled the withering contempt which she threw into her
acting in the duet with her profligate betrayer. The whole conception
and execution of the part was perfection.

It was not until 1847 that she had a serious challenger in a role that
had been her own for so many years. The challenge came from none less
than Jenny Lind, and while it was easily shunted aside by Grisi, it
does provide an opportunity to examine her conception of Norma more
closely, and would provide further evidence that, in this role at least
she was anything but an imitator of her predecessors, except that this
review is too long to be quoted here. However, this review of
Grisi’s 1847 Norma, originally published in the Musical World,
is also available in Donizetti Society Journal 4.

It would, of course, have been impossible both to examine and quote all
the published reviews of Grisi in Norma,
a role she sang countless times and in countless places. If any of them
did suggest that she
imitated Pasta in one aspect or another, they have not come to my
attention. But then, the suggestion that Grisi was an interpretative
plagiarist did not gain currency until three years later, when Viardot
heard Pasta in scenes from Anna
. Viardot’s remark, which was previously quoted, was
not widely publicized until after
Grisi’s death, when everybody, even some of Grisi’s erstwhile
staunchest admirers took it up. Yet, the fact that it was never as much
as suggested in regard to Norma
during the best years of Grisi’s career
lends little credibility to this accusation. Nor does the fact that
Viardot was known to be a bitter enemy and jealous rival of both Grisi
and Mario, add to its credibility. The latter subject is discussed in
some depth in the winter 1997-98 issue of the Opera Quarterly,
some emphasis on Viardot’s complaints about the behavior of
Grisi and Mario 20 .
Basically, there were five complaints, three of which
dealt with indispositions on the part of the tenor Mario at critical
points of Viardot’s London career. These were discussed by
Musical World
in various issues, coming to the conclusion that the
indispositions were probably genuine. Even tenors are allowed to get
sick, but there is no proof one way or another. The other two charges
against Grisi were essentially that she dared to sing the roles of
Valentine and Fides (in Huguenots
and Prophete)
which Viardot had sung
in London with great success, while the latter was engaged elsewhere.

This is how John Cox describes the first of Mario’s
indispositions when Viardot was counting on his support:

“A more cruel method of treatment than that resorted
to towards that lady has
rarely been adopted. The fact was that Grisi had been influenced by a
sudden fit of jealousy and fear lest Malibran’s only sister should
achieve a success. Mario was to have been the lover; but at the last
moment that wretched “stick” who answered to the name of Flavio, was
thrust into the part, as if on purpose to mar everything by means of
his incompetency. When the time came for Madame Viardot to dress,
nothing was ready for her, and each of the costumes she had to wear was
actually pinned upon her by the dresser allotted to her. It was no
wonder that the audience was cold throughout the performance.
Disappointed at the absence of Mario, and feeling that an insult had
been offered to themselves, rather than to the lady who had been placed
in so trying a position, they seemed inclined to vent their
mortification upon her, and nearly. accomplished that which, without
doubt, was intended to be of set purpose-a dead failure. Again and
again Madame Viardot rose to the occasion, especially in the
chamber-scene, and moved the icy coldness of the house into something
akin to warmth; but she bided her time, and when the moment came for
the finale to be sung, “went in” with such pluck and determination “to
win”, that she produced a furore that never before had been witnessed
in the new Covent Garden Opera-house entirely defeating her opponents,
but not thereby rendering them less malicious or vindictive. From that
moment a spirit of rivalry was introduced into the new venture, out of
which disastrous consequences afterwards arose; nor was Grisi satisfied
until she had appropriated nearly all Mdme. Viardot’s parts, in not one
of which did she come within “a shadow of a shade” of the excellence of
a lady, who was only her inferior with respect to voice, but who, as an
artiste and a genius, towered above the more popular favourite with
transcendent superiority..

We will never know for sure whether or not Mario was really ill that
night. The rumours of his faking it were widely circulated, and
rigorously denied in
the press. But we do know that Cox’s claim to the effect that
Grisi appropriated
nearly all of Viardot’s parts at Covent Garden was a gross
exaggeration, which casts doubt on many of the
negative comments that Cox had made about her 21 . This point can
clearly made by examining
Viardot’s repertory in London, and seeing how many of these
roles were
“appropriated” by Grisi: In her debut season (1848), Viardot sang La
Bellini’s Romeo, Donna Anna (which Grisi had already sung
that year, and which both sang from time to time
afterwards) Valentine, and an unidentified role in La prova
d’un opera seria
. In
1849 she added Fides, then, in 1850, Adina and , in 1851 she sang
Papagena and
Gounod’s Sapho, which Viardot had created earlier in Paris.
She did not return in 1852 or 1853, so Grisi sang
Fides in the first of these two seasons. In 1854 she added Desdemona,
while in 1855 she added Rosina
and Azucena. Covent Garden was closed due to a fire in 1856 and 1857.
Viardot did not
return until years later, while Grisi left at the end of the 1861
season. Of all these parts, the only ones
which Viardot’s adherents could claim Grisi “appropriated”
were Valentine and Fides, a far cry
from Cox’s claim of “nearly all” of her parts. Both
of these were first sung by Grisi when Viardot was engaged elsewhere,
which makes one wonder whether Viardot
was so little of a team player that she expected operas to be dropped
when she was not
present to sing roles that she evidently considered her private
property. If either of these
two prima donnas had an attitude problem, it would seem to me that it
was Viardot rather than
Grisi, which makes it difficult for me to understand why Cox would go
out of his way to take her side.
Still, that is exactly what he did, doing untold harm to the reputation
of a great singer,
since his book on opera in mid-nineteenth century London has served as
one of the prime
reference works on the period for later writers.

It might also be worthwhile to discuss the issue of who owned a role,
which seems so important to Viardot, who apparently felt that she had
every right to
sing any role once sung, or even created by some other prima donna,
while anything that she ever
sang automatically became hers for life. Still, Viardot’s
ideas on property
rights (something like what is yours is mine and what is mine is mine)
seem so outlandish as not to
be worthy of further discussion.

Let me close by expressing the hope that Giulia Grisi’s
career will finally receive her due, perhaps in a full length biography
of this great singer.

Tom Kaufman

1. This is a revised and expanded version of an article
published in Journal 4 of the Donizetti Society, London, 1980 . Since the original
version was first published some additional material on that and
related subjects has come to light and will be taken into account. See Thomas
G. Kaufman: Giulia Grisi — A Reevaluation, Donizetti
Society Journal 4, London, 1980.
2. Mario
and Grisi, by Elizabeth
Forbes, was published in 1985, but, as the title states, deals with
both singers.
3. Henry
Pleasants: The Great
Singers (New York): Simon and Schuster, 1966.
4. Pleasants
credits her with an
accomplishment that was not hers: the singing of Giulietta in the world
premiere of I Capuleti ed i Montecchi which took place in Venice on
March 12. 1830. At that time. Giulia Grisi was singing in Florence.
Pleasants undoubtedly confuses her with the first Romeo. her sister
Giuditta. She did eventually  sing the role of Giulietta in
Paris, with her older sister as Romeo, but obviously did not create the
5. Pleasants:,
p. 178
6. John
Cox: Musical
Recollections: London, 1872, Vol. I, p. 300
7. Henry
Chorley: Thirty Years
Musical Recollections; London, Hurst and Blackett, 1862; edited by
Ernest Newman: New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1926.
8. Ibid.
page 77
9. Ibid.
page 78
10. Cox:
page 292
11. This
is a misleading statement, which helps show Cox’s bias. It is
a fact that Grisi had no difficulty learning what to make of roles such
as Elvira in I puritani,
Norina in Don Pasquale,
both of which she created, or Lucrezia Borgia, which she created in
both Paris and London. While it is true that Viardot had created the
role of Valentine at Covent Garden, and regarded it as her property,
she sang it there only during the 1848 season, with Grisi keeping it
from 1849 until her temporary retirement in1861. I doubt if Grisi could
have kept it that long were the management to have felt that Viardot
was a better interpreter.
12. Chorley,
page 234.
13. He
referring to the great scene for St. Bris, Nevers and the Catholics in
Act IV where they are planning the St. Bartholomew’s
massacre. This scene is often referred to as the “Conjuration des
14. She
did return to London in the spring of 1849 to create the role of Fides
in Le
in that city.
15. There
is no record of Viardot ever singing the role in Paris.
16. Tom
Kaufman: The Grisi-Viardot Controversy, 1848-1852; The Opera Quarterly;
Winter 1997/98
17. The
Atheneum, London, Apr. 19, 1834, page 297.
18. Elvira
in I puritani
was chosen by Grisi as her re-entry role in six of her
nine seasons in London from 1837 to 1846, suggesting that this, rather
than Norma, may have been her favorite role at the time. Norma was
chosen twice and Desdemona once.
19. Thomas
G. Kaufman: Giulia Grisi a reevaluation; Donizetti Society Journal 4,
pages 189-192.
20. Kaufman,
Opera Quarterly Winter 1997/98 pages 7-22.
21. To
fair, Cox does devote quite a bit of space to Grisi’s debut
season (vol. I, pages 287-300) in which he also has quite a few kind
things to say about her, particularly liking her Ninetta, Donna Anna,
and Desdemona.

image_description=Giulia Grisi (1811-69) by Francois Bouchot, 1840