Bardell vs. Pickwick

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Bardell vs. Pickwick refers to one of the most popular episodes from The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens (1812-1870)[1].

Also found written as Bardell v. Pickwick and Bardell vs Pickwick.

The original text

"Bardell v. Pickwick: The Trial for Breach of Promise of Marriage Held at the Guildhall Sittings, on April 1, 1828, Before Mr. Justice Stareleigh and a Special Jury of the City of London", is one of the most popular episodes from Charles Dickens's The Pickwick Papers (published 1836-1837) and has often been dramatized or read aloud as a parlor entertainment over the years.

Dickens's own prose extract, as used in his popular Readings, was published as Doctor Marigold and Bardell and Pickwick by Charles Dickens, as condensed by himself, for his readings in Boston by Ticknor and Fields, 1868.

Translations and adaptations

In 1868 a comedy called Bandwell vs. Pickwick ("a laughable trial") was performed by Le Roy and Duret in Cape Town, possibly their own dramatization of the episode, the spelling error of "Bandwell" possibly that of the source.

In 1871 the scene was dramatized "from the author's special reading copy" as a farcical sketch in one act called Bardell vs. Pickwick by Charles Dickens (1812-1870)[2] and and arranged for the stage by John Hollingshead (1827-1904)[3].

First performed at the Gaiety Theatre, London, January 24, 1871. Published as The Acting Drama No 152 by O.A. Roorbach, New York, probably in 1872.

Performance history in South Africa

1868: Performed as Bandwell vs. Pickwick by Le Roy and Duret in the Commercial Exchange, Cape Town, on 10 February with Catherine and Petrucchio, or Taming the Shrew (Shakespeare) and Cool as a Cucumber (B. Jerrold), as a farewell benefit for Miss Raynor and Mr Bennee. Repeated on the 13th of February.

1903: Bardell vs. Pickwick (attributed to Hollingshead) was performed by Edward Terry in the Good Hope Theatre in April.

Sources

The Lawbook Exchange. Advert for a 2010 reprint of Bardell v. Pickwick: The Trial for Breach of Promise of Marriage Held at the Guildhall Sittings, on April 1, 1828, Before Mr. Justice Stareleigh and a Special Jury of the City of London. Edited with Notes and Commentaries by Percy Fitzgerald. London: Elliot Stock, 1902[4]

https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/100301711

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Dickens

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Hollingshead

Facsimile version of Dickens's own extract, used in his Readings, published 1868[5]

Facsimile version of the Roorbach edition of the Hollingshead dramatized text[6]

F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1912. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp. 232, 414

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