A Faint Heart which Did Win a Fair Lady

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A Faint Heart which Did Win a Fair Lady is a comedy in one act by John Pratt Wooler (1824-1868)[1]

Also found as Faint Heart Did Win Fair Lady.

The original text

The play was first performed at the Royal Strand Theatre, London on 9 February, 1863. Published in London by Thomas Hailes Lacy in the same year as Volume 57 of Lacy's acting edition. The title is a surely a reference (and the play even a response) to Planché's 1837 comedy, Faint Heart Never Won Fair Lady, which may thus have indirectly inspired Wooler's play.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1866: Performed by the Le Roy and Duret Company in the Harrington Street Theatre, on 15 October, with Pizarro (Von Kotzebue/Sheridan), A Ticket of Leave (Phillips) and a dance called "La Cachuca" by Mrs Brazier and Mrs Luin. The evening was a "Farewell Complimentary Testimonial" for Madame Duret. However, the play was rather tentatively listed by F.C.L. Bosman as Faint Heart (Which) Did Win (a) Fair Lady (and ascribed to J.P. Wooler), apparently unsure of the actual version used.

1867: Performed (as Faint Heart Did Win Fair Lady) by the Le Roy-Duret Company (now led by Madame Duret on her own) in the Theatre Royal, on 24 June, with Governor von Brute, or Things as They Might Have Been (Utting/Mollan). The evening was a benefit for B. Mollan


Facsimile version of the original 1840 text by Planché, Hathi Trust Digital Library[2]


Allardyce Nicoll. 1975. A History of English Drama 1660-1900: Late 19th Century Drama 1850-1900 Cambridge University Press: p.632[3]


D.C. Boonzaier, 1923. "My playgoing days – 30 years in the history of the Cape Town stage", in SA Review, 9 March and 24 August 1932. (Reprinted in Bosman 1980: pp. 374-439.)

F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1912. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: p. 77, 213, 226, 325

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