Agnes de Vere, or The Wife’s Revenge

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Agnes de Vere, or The Wife’s Revenge, is a drama in three acts by John Baldwin Buckstone (1802-1879)[1].

The play is referred to as Agnes de Vere, or The Broken Heart, Agnes de Vere, or A Wife’s Revenge, or simply Agnes de Vere by some authors, but the published versions all have the given title above.

The original text

According tot the Remarks[2] published in the W. V. Spencer edition (1855), the play was an adaptation from an unknown French play, and was first performed at the Adelphi Theatre, London on 10 November, 1834 with the title Agnes de Vere, or The Broken Heart, the author playing "Oliver Dobbs". It became very popular in the USA, being performed in New York, Philadelphia and Boston from 1845 onwards, and in the British colonies (e.g. Australia and South Africa).

Published in Dick's series of play texts (as No 805) in 1836?, in Boston by W. V. Spencer, 1855 (No XXIII) and in New York by Samuel French in the same year, then again by Lacy (Volume cvi) in 1876.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1859: Performed as Agnes de Vere, or A Wife’s Revenge by Sefton Parry in the Harrington Street Theatre on 5 December. Billed as "a pathetic drama in Three Acts", with a Spanish dance as interlude and The Happy Man, or the Legend of - (Lover), a one act burlesque act.


Facsimile version of the 1855 published text, Hathi Trust Digital Library[3]

Gilbert B. Cross. 1977. Next Week--East Lynne: Domestic Drama in Performance, 1820-1874. Bucknell University Press: p. 241.[4]

J. Francis, 1834, The Athenaeum: A Journal of Literature, Science, the Fine Arts, Music, and the Drama: January to December: p. viii[5]

F.C. Westley, 1834. "The Theatres" in The Spectator, Volume 7: pp. 1085-6[6]

"Royal Victoria Theatre, This Evening June 10", The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), Sat 10 Jun 1848: page 2. from The National Library of Australia[7]

F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1916. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp. 78.

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