Plays by Dion Boucicaultby Peter Thomson
Five plays by this virtuoso of the theatre have been gathered in one volume and given scholarly attention. Dion Boucicault, the most popular dramatist of the second half of the nineteenth century, was also one of the most prolific and representative. Irish in origin, he worked and wrote in England and America where for twenty years he led the touring circuit. His plays reflect the different theatrical traditions, Irish, English and American, in which he was a crucial figure. Two plays are published here for the first time this century, Used Up and Jessie Brown. The Shaughraun and The Octoroon are outstanding examples of melodrama; Old Heads and Young Hearts is one of the few notable nineteenth-century comedies. Peter Thomson's introduction assesses Boucicault's place in the nineteenth century in both England and America, and shows that his work cannot be ignored by any serious student of drama.
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