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Patrick Finelli of the University of South Florida recently posted this report about the Dion Boucicault Theatre Collection at USF:

“This is an update on the Dion Boucicault Theatre Collection, the largest single repository of Boucicault manuscripts and materials in the world. Twelve years ago the late Barry Russell and other scholars helped us obtain funding to process 29 boxes of manuscripts, prompt books, notes, drawings and letters that the University of South Florida acquired from the estate of his widow. My colleague Matt Knight, special collections librarian, is preparing materials for an online exhibit of the following hitherto unpublished plays: Cuishla Machree; Suilamor, or, Life in Galway; Janet Pride; Jeanie Deans; Vanity Fair; The Parish Clerk; Lost at Sea; Vice-Versa; A Man of Honour; Marriage; Contempt of Court; RescuedPhryneOurselves; The Grass Widow; and Fin Mac Cool. Restructured and updated versions of the following plays and their prompt books will also be included in the online collection: The Colleen Bawn, Arrah-na-Pogue, The Shaughraun, The Amadan, The Rapparee, Belle Lamar, Pauline, Hunted Down, The Long Strike, and Robert Emmet. I believe there is also a play titled The Vampire in manuscript form.  Matt and his research assistant are engaged in transcription, editing, and digitization of materials. Boucicault’s dramas have been given a new lease on life with the publication of Deirdre McFeely’s excellent new study, Dion Boucicault: Irish Identity on Stage, and through other recent scholarly articles; however, these works do not discuss the majority of Boucicault material found in USF’s collection, nor do they take into account updated versions of the plays that are generally available. Further, many of the plays discussed in depth in modern scholarship are not readily available to the average reader. The last published collection of Dion Boucicault’s Irish drama was The Dolmen Boucicault, appearing in 1964, and it included only three plays.  Since that time, Plays by Dion Boucicault was released in 1984, featuring five plays, and the Selected Plays of Dion Boucicault, containing six plays, two of them also in the aforementioned volume was released in 1987. In short, scholars who have examined Boucicault’s plays in depth have only had The Dolmen Boucicault and slim anthologized versions to consult without having to rely on archival copies or microform editions of play scripts. USF’s substantial Boucicault collection is therefore invaluable, not only for filling gaps in the canon, but also for understanding 19th-century English-language theatre; contemporaneous social issues facing Britain, Ireland and the United States; and Victorian popular culture. The potential academic readership for The Dion Boucicault Online Theatre Collection will include those interested in the fields of 19th-century drama, English literature, American theatre and culture, Irish studies, Victorian studies, and popular culture. Further, as Boucicault’s Irish plays have enjoyed a revival on the stage in the last two decades, a collection of updated texts and new editions will extend the possibilities for more theatrical productions in the future. Also, given the cultural, social, and political material found in these dramatic works, a general reader will have much to appreciate in this online exhibition. In short, this project will appeal to the academic specialist, graduate and undergraduate students across disciplines, theatre directors and actors, and the general public. If you are interested in this collection for research or scholarship (faculty, independent scholar or graduate student), contact: Patrick Finelli, Ph.D. Professor School of Theatre and Dance University of South Florida”

There are 59 references to Boucicault’s work in The London Stage between the years 1890 and 1943 (see the accumulated indexes volume for details).

Oscar Wilde

Here are two links to interesting sites about Oscar Wilde:

La société Oscar Wilde

The Oscholars

Just a few words about the illegal “free downloads” of my books that can be found on the Internet. Since all my books are in copyright, all such downloads are illegal. Moreover, the objective of the sites that offer these downloads is to infect the computer of the person downloading the book and then perpetrate some scam (I would imagine this would be financial, identity theft, etc.). These sites are easy to spot because they usually piggyback on a genuine website. Here is the link to the first one I found today:

http://www.loggerlanetownhomes.com/data/it/J-P-Wearing/m185464/

The legitimate part of this link is : http://www.loggerlanetownhomes.com, the remainder leads you to the so-called free download.

Obviously, this problem affects virtually every author, and the best “solution” is for potential readers of such downloads to do the right thing and buy a genuine copy of the book, or at least go to their local library and borrow it. While the Internet encourages the free dissemination of ideas etc., such scams rob authors of some financial reward for their labors. Many years of work have gone into the making of my own books and surely even the slender remuneration royalties offer is just and appropriate. In any event, those who want free downloads might consider whether the damage caused to their computers and their financial lives is worth it.

I see that Harry Stopes-Roe died recently. Not mentioned in the obituary in the Daily Telegraph was his supposed co-authorship with his famous mother of a play. The latter was entitled Buckie’s Bears , a play for children, by “Erica Fay” [Marie Stopes] and “Harry Buffkins” [Harry Verdon Stopes-Roe] which was performed at the Royalty Theatre on 26 December 1931 and ran for 25 matinee performances. The play was revived five times during the 1930s. Harry was six when the play was first staged so it seems likely that his mother was largely responsible for the finished work. Given her views on eugenics, there is perhaps a touch of irony in her authorship of a children’s play. Her views on birth control found expression in Our Ostriches, a play of modern life, first performed at the Court Theatre on 24 November 1923, and revived at the Royalty on 7 May 1930.

 

Theatre in London has celebrated a rich and influential history, and in 1976 the first volume of J. P. Wearing’s reference series provided researchers with an indispensable resource of these productions. In the decades since the original calendars were produced, several research aids have become available, notably various reference works and the digitization of important newspapers and relevant periodicals.

Spanning 1890 through the 1950s, all seven volumes of The London Stage series have been revised, corrected, and expanded. In addition, approximately 20 percent of the material—in particular, information about adaptations and translations, plot sources, and comment information—is new.

Although each volume contains indexes specific to that decade, The London Stage 1890–1959: Accumulated Indexes combines all of the indexes into one comprehensive resource for more efficient research. For example, those wishing to locate all the references to a particular actor, play, or theatre whose history spanned more than one decade will find all of the entries listed in this set.

This set includes four key indexes: general, genre, theatre, and title.

  • The general index consists of numerous subject entries on such topics as acting, audiences, censorship, costumes, managers, performers, prompters, staging, and ticket prices. With approximately 40,000 people listed, this is the largest single source of theatrical personnel on the London stage during this period.
  • The genre index comprises all entries for production types, including comedies, dramas, farces, and tragedies, as well as ballets, operas, adaptations, foreign works, pantomimes, and translations.
  • The theatre index features every building to stage a production, from the Adelphi to Wyndham’s.
  • The title index cites 14,000 productions, identifying every work produced on stage from Domestic Economy in January 1890 to When in Rome in December 1959.


As a supplement to the individual volumes, The London Stage 1890–1959: Accumulated Indexes will be of value to scholars, theatrical personnel, librarians, writers, journalists, and historians.

Theatre in London has celebrated a rich and influential history, and in 1976 the first volume of J. P. Wearing’s reference series provided researchers with an indispensable resource of these productions. In the decades since the original calendars were produced, several research aids have become available, notably various reference works and the digitization of important newspapers and relevant periodicals.The second edition of The London Stage 1950–1959: A Calendar of Productions, Performers, and Personnel provides a chronological calendar of London shows from the first of January, 1950, through the 31st of December, 1959. The volume chronicles more than 3,100 productions at 52 major central London theatres during this period. For each production the following information is provided:

  • Title
  • Author
  • Theatre
  • Performers
  • Personnel
  • Opening and Closing Dates
  • Number of Performances


Other details include genre of the production, number of acts, and a list of reviews. A comment section includes other interesting information, such as plot description, first-night reception by the audience, noteworthy performances, staging elements, and details of performances in New York either prior to or after the London production.

Among the plays staged in London during this decade were Look Back in Anger, One Way Pendulum, The Birthday Party, A Taste of Honey, Chicken Soup with Barley, Five Finger Exercise, The Hostage, and Waiting for Godot, as well as numerous musical comedies (British and American), foreign works, operas, ballets, and revivals of English classics.

A definitive resource, this edition revises, corrects, and expands the original calendar. In addition, approximately 20 percent of the material—in particular, information of adaptations and translations, plot sources, and comment information—is new. Arranged chronologically, the shows are fully indexed by title, genre, and theatre. A general index includes numerous subject entries on such topics as acting, audiences, censorship, costumes, managers, performers, prompters, staging, and ticket prices. The London Stage 1950-1959 will be of value to scholars, theatrical personnel, librarians, writers, journalists, and historians.

 

Theatre in London has celebrated a rich and influential history, and in 1976 the first volume of J. P. Wearing’s reference series provided researchers with an indispensable resource of these productions. In the decades since the original calendars were produced, several research aids have become available, notably various reference works and the digitization of important newspapers and relevant periodicals.The second edition of The London Stage 1940–1949: A Calendar of Productions, Performers, and Personnel provides a chronological calendar of London shows from the first of January, 1940, through the 31st of December, 1949. The volume chronicles more than 2,400 productions at 53 major central London theatres during this period. For each production the following information is provided:

  • Title
  • Author
  • Theatre
  • Performers
  • Personnel
  • Opening and Closing Dates
  • Number of Performances


Other details include genre of the production, number of acts, and a list of reviews. A comment section includes other interesting information, such as plot description, first-night reception by the audience, noteworthy performances, staging elements, and details of performances in New York either prior to or after the London production.

Among the plays staged in London during this decade were The Light of Heart, Mr. Bolfry, Perchance to Dream, Pacific 1860, Bless the Bride, The Lady’s Not for Burning, The Late Edwina Black, Outrageous Fortune, Seagulls over Sorrento, and Buoyant Billions, as well as numerous musical comedies (British and American), foreign works, operas, ballets, and revivals of English classics.

A definitive resource, this edition revises, corrects, and expands the original calendar. In addition, approximately 20 percent of the material—in particular, information of adaptations and translations, plot sources, and comment information—is new. Arranged chronologically, the shows are fully indexed by title, genre, and theatre. A general index includes numerous subject entries on such topics as acting, audiences, censorship, costumes, managers, performers, prompters, staging, and ticket prices. The London Stage 1940-1949 will be of value to scholars, theatrical personnel, librarians, writers, journalists, and historians.

Theatre in London has celebrated a rich and influential history, and in 1976 the first volume of J. P. Wearing’s reference series provided researchers with an indispensable resource of these productions. In the decades since the original calendars were produced, several research aids have become available, notably various reference works and the digitization of important newspapers and relevant periodicals.The second edition of The London Stage 1930–1939: A Calendar of Productions, Performers, and Personnel provides a chronological calendar of London shows from the first of January, 1930, through the 31st of December, 1939. The volume chronicles more than 4,250 productions at 61 major central London theatres during this period. For each production the following information is provided:

  1. Title
  2. Author
  3. Theatre
  4. Performers
  5. Personnel
  6. Opening and Closing Dates
  7. Number of Performances


Other details include genre of the production, number of acts, and a list of reviews. A comment section includes other interesting information, such as plot description, first-night reception by the audience, noteworthy performances, staging elements, and details of performances in New York either prior to or after the London production.

Among the plays staged in London during this decade were The Barretts of Wimpole Street, French without Tears, George and Margaret, The Greeks Had a Word for It, Laburnum Grove, Lady Precious Stream, The Late Christopher Bean, Love on the Dole, Me and My Girl, Private Lives, and 1066 and All That, as well as numerous musical comedies (British and American), foreign works, operas, ballets, and revivals of English classics.

A definitive resource, this edition revises, corrects, and expands the original calendar. In addition, approximately 20 percent of the material—in particular, information of adaptations and translations, plot sources, and comment information—is new. Arranged chronologically, the shows are fully indexed by title, genre, and theatre. A general index includes numerous subject entries on such topics as acting, audiences, censorship, costumes, managers, performers, prompters, staging, and ticket prices. The London Stage 1930-1939 will be of value to scholars, theatrical personnel, librarians, writers, journalists, and historians.

 

Review:

Opening a new or revised reference work is like opening an unearthed treasure. You never know what’s inside, but you know the baubles will bedazzle. The London Stage does not disappoint. Herewith each volume covers over 4,000 productions at more than three score theaters in the Bard’s hometown, so to speak. The tome—and it is a doorstopper weighing in at about seven pounds—provides first night details of plays over a decade, with one volume covering 1920-1929 and the second covering 1930-1939. Productions are arranged chronologically followed by the title of the work, genre, author, theater length of run, male and female cast members, production staff, plot précis, bibliography of reviews, and comment. The last ranges from what a reviewer might have thought, audience reception, and the like. Wearing gleaned the information from over a dozen specialized theater reviewing media, newspapers, nearly a dozen libraries and or archives, ranging from The British Library to Theatre Collection of Bristol University, and a half dozen specialized reference sources (e.g., Grove’s Who’s Who in Theatre). In other words, there may not be more comprehensive guides available. These works are a must-have for theater departments, and really any library interested in play productions.
American Reference Books Annual

Theatre in London has celebrated a rich and influential history, and in 1976 the first volume of J. P. Wearing’s reference series provided researchers with an indispensable resource of these productions. In the decades since the original calendars were produced, several research aids have become available, notably various reference works and the digitization of important newspapers and relevant periodicals.The second edition of The London Stage 1920–1929: A Calendar of Productions, Performers, and Personnel provides a chronological calendar of London productions from the first of January, 1920, through the 31st of December, 1929. The volume chronicles more than 4,000 productions at 51 major central London theatres during this period. For each production the following information is provided:

  1. Title
  2. Author
  3. Theatre
  4. Performers
  5. Personnel
  6. Opening and Closing Dates
  7. Number of Performances


Other details include genre of the production, number of acts, and a list of reviews. A comment section includes other interesting information about the production, such as plot description, first-night reception by the audience, noteworthy performances, staging elements, and details of performances in New York either prior to or after the London production.

Among the plays staged in London during this decade were Bulldog Drummond, The Emperor Jones, The Enchanted Cottage, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Hay Fever, Saint Joan, Six Characters in Search of an Author, as well as numerous musical comedies (British and American), foreign works, operas, and revivals of English classics.

A definitive resource, this edition revises, corrects, and expands the original calendar. In addition, approximately 20 percent of the material—in particular, information of adaptations and translations, plot sources, and comment information—is new. Arranged chronologically, the productions are fully indexed by title, genre, and theatre. A general index includes numerous subject entries on such topics as acting, audiences, censorship, costumes, managers, performers, prompters, staging, and ticket prices. The London Stage 1920-1929 will be of value to scholars, theatrical personnel, librarians, writers, journalists, and historians.

Review:

Opening a new or revised reference work is like opening an unearthed treasure. You never know what’s inside, but you know the baubles will bedazzle. The London Stage does not disappoint. Herewith each volume covers over 4,000 productions at more than three score theaters in the Bard’s hometown, so to speak. The tome—and it is a doorstopper weighing in at about seven pounds—provides first night details of plays over a decade, with one volume covering 1920-1929 and the second covering 1930-1939. Productions are arranged chronologically followed by the title of the work, genre, author, theater length of run, male and female cast members, production staff, plot précis, bibliography of reviews, and comment. The last ranges from what a reviewer might have thought, audience reception, and the like. Wearing gleaned the information from over a dozen specialized theater reviewing media, newspapers, nearly a dozen libraries and or archives, ranging from The British Library to Theatre Collection of Bristol University, and a half dozen specialized reference sources (e.g., Grove’s Who’s Who in Theatre). In other words, there may not be more comprehensive guides available. These works are a must-have for theater departments, and really any library interested in play productions.
American Reference Books Annual

For centuries, London theatre has celebrated a rich and influential history, and in 1976, the first volume of J. P. Wearing’s reference series provided scholars and other researchers with an indispensable resource of these productions. In the decades since the original calendars were produced, several research aids have become available, notably various reference works and the digitization of important newspapers and relevant periodicals.The London Stage 1910-1919 A Calendar of Productions, Performers, and Personnel, Second Edition provides a chronological calendar of London productions from the first of January 1910 through the 31st of December 1919. The volume chronicles more than 3,000 productions at 35 selected, major central London theatres during this period. For each production the following information is provided:

  • Title
  • Author
  • Theatre
  • Performers
  • Personnel
  • Opening and Closing Dates
  • Number of Performances


Other details include genre of the production, number of acts, and references to reviews. A comment section includes other interesting information about the production, such as a plot description, the first-night reception by the audience, noteworthy performances, staging elements, and details of performances in New York either prior to or after the London production.

A definitive resource, this edition revises, corrects, and expands the original, well-received calendar. In addition, approximately 20% of the material included (in particular, information of adaptations and translations, plot sources, and comment information) is new. Arranged chronologically, the productions are indexed fully by title, genre, and theatre. A general index also includes numerous subject entries on such topics as acting, audiences, censorship, costumes, managers, performers, prompters, staging, ticket prices, or other relevant subjects. An authoritative reference providing essential details, this work will be of value to scholars, theatrical personnel, librarians, writers, journalists, and historians.

Reviews:
These three volumes update earlier editions–The London Stage, 1890-1899 (1st ed., CH, Nov’76), 1900-1909 (1st ed., CH, Oct’81), and 1910-1919 (1st ed., 1982). These calendars furnish chronological listings of productions, performers, and personnel on the London stage; each one chronicles over 3,000 productions at more than 30 selected theaters in the London area. With the availability of new digitized resources and other reference works, Wearing (has amassed new details to embellish his earlier work. Entries include title of production, genre, number of acts, authors, theater, date and length of run, performers, personnel, references to reviews, and more. Once users become familiar with the format and key to the entries, these volumes, which are arranged in a logical fashion, are easy to use. Included are title, genre, theater, and general indexes, as well as lists of references. Concluding each entry are comments made by the author that provide readers with further information. The publisher indicates that approximately 20 percent of the content is new in these volumes, including material concerning translations, adaptations, and plot sources. Readers may also wish to consult Wearing’s The London Stage, 1930-1939 and The London Stage, 1940-1949 Second editions for both these books are in the works, as well as for the 1920-29 and 1950-59 periods. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students and above.
CHOICE

The 1st editions of these volumes were published in 1976, nearly 40 years ago. Since that time several new research aids have become available in the form of digitization of newspapers and periodicals, making this update a worthwhile purchase. The 2d editions provide a chronological calendar of London productions from January 1890 through December 1899; from January 1900 through December 1909; and from January 1910 through December 1919. More than 20 percent of the material is new to these editions, particularly information on adaptations and translations, plot sources, and comments. The London Stage 1890-1899 chronicles more than 3,000 productions at over 30 London theaters. The London Stage 1900-1909 presents more than 3,000 productions at 35 major central London theaters. The London Stage 1910-1919 chronicles some 3,000 productions at 35 major central London theaters during this 10-year span. For each users will find the following information: title, author, theater, actors, assisting personnel, opening and closing dates, and the number of performances. There is also information on the type of genre, the number of acts, and reviews. Comments have been expanded in this edition and include details on the plot, audience reception, and noteworthy performances. The works are thoroughly indexed by play title, genre, and theater. A longer general index provides users access. These volumes will be useful in academic and public libraries where theater students, writers, and theater historians will have access to their many treasures.
American Reference Books Annual