Aurora Floyd is the name given to a number of dramatizations of the eponymous novel by Mary Elizabeth Braddon (1835-1915 ).
Usually referred to simply as Aurora Floyd, though a range of subtitles are also found.
- 1 The original text
- 2 Translations and adaptations
- 2.1 Aurora Floyd, or The First and Second Marriage by Colin Henry Hazlewood (1823–1875)
- 2.2 Aurora Floyd by Charles Smith Cheltnam
- 2.3 Aurora Floyd by John Beer Johnstone (18–18)
- 2.4 Aurora Floyd by William E. Suter (1811?-1882)
- 2.5 Aurora Floyd by Benjamin Webster (18–18)
- 2.6 Aurora Floyd by Gayler (18–18)
- 3 Performance history in South Africa
- 4 Sources
- 5 Return to
The original text
Braddon's original sensation novel, called Aurora Floyd, was published in 1863.
Translations and adaptations
Braddon's novel was immediately dramatised for the stage on its appearance by numerous playwrights, all the plays first put on in 1863. Bolton (2000: pp. 58-61) lists many performances of the play over the years, often without the name of the adaptor. Some of the titles are provided below.
Aurora Floyd, or The First and Second Marriage by Colin Henry Hazlewood (1823–1875)
This 3 act version is the best known of the adaptations, and is also found with two variant subtitles: Aurora Floyd, or The Dark Deed in the Wood or, according to some sources as Aurora Floyd, or The Dark Duel in the Wood.
First performed as Aurora Floyd, or The First and Second Marriage at the Britannia Theatre Saloon on 20 April, 1863. The script was published as Aurora Floyd, or The Dark Deed in the Wood published by Thomas Hailes Lacy in his series Acting Edition of Plays, the 85th play in the series in the same year, as well as by Samuel French, volume 85 No 17.
Aurora Floyd by Charles Smith Cheltnam
This 4 act version opened at the Princess's Theatre, London on 11 March, 1863 and was later performed as Aurora Floyd, or The Mystery of a Year at the Prince's Theatre, Glasgow, 18-23 May, 1863.
Aurora Floyd by John Beer Johnstone (18–18)
A play in 2 acts and a prologue, this version was first performed at the Marlybone Theatre in May, 1863.
Aurora Floyd by William E. Suter (1811?-1882)
Also given as Aurora Floyd, or The Deed in the Wood a drama in two acts by W. E. Suter
This 2 act version was first to performed at the Queen's Theatre on 30 March, 1863. Published by Thomas Hailes Lacy in as no 85 in their series Acting Edition of Plays.
Aurora Floyd by Benjamin Webster (18–18)
This 3 act version was first to performed at the Adelphi Theatre on 11 (or 14) March, 1863. The text not published apparently.
Aurora Floyd by Gayler (18–18)
This version was first to performed at Niblo's Garden Theatre, New York on 20 April, 1863.
Performance history in South Africa
Because the exact version of the text used in each case is not always certain, all plays bearing "Aurora Floyd" as the title, or part of the title, are listed below:
1867: Performed as Aurora Floyd in the Theatre Royal, Harrington Street, Cape Town by Le Roy's Original Company on 4 April, 1867 under the patronage and presence of Captain Collins and the officers from the American war sloop Sacramento, and Naval officer J.C. Howard assisting with the play. It was billed as a "Powerful and Sensational Drama" and was accompanied by a performance of My Wife's Second Floor (Morton).
1867: Performed once more by special request as Aurora Floyd in the Theatre Royal, Harrington Street, Cape Town by Le Roy's Original Company on 12 April, under the patronage of the "Stewards of the Races", and with Naval officer J.C. Howard once more assisting. The programme also included the "interesting Extravaganza" The Alabama (Morton) , a rendering of the song The Slave Ship by Mr Spencer and a comic song by Mr Ray.
1875: Performed as Aurora Floyd in the Bijou Theatre, Cape Town by Disney Roebuck on 10 and 12 April, with Black-Eyed Susan, or The Little Bill That Was Taken Up (Burnand). (According to F.C.L. Bosman the full title of the text used by Roebuck in 1875-1878 was Aurora Floyd, or The Dark Duel in the Wood, which he for some reason ascribes to either' B. Webster or W. Suter.)
H. Philip Bolton. 2000. Women Writers Dramatized: A Calendar of Performances from Narrative Works Published in English to 1900. London: A&C Black: pp. 58-61
K. Newey. 2005. Women's Theatre Writing in Victorian Britain. Springer: p. 197.
Facsimile version of the 1863 Hazlewood text, Hathi Trust Digital Library
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