Jessie Brown, or The Relief of Lucknow

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Jessie Brown, or The Relief of Lucknow is a drama in three acts by Dion Boucicault (1820-1890)[].

Also known simply as Jessie Brown or as The Relief of Lucknow.

The original text

Lucknow is the name of a city in northern India which the site of a famous siege in 1857. The purported incident dramatised in the play took place on September 25th, 1857, and the following version of the story, from "the pen of a lady", was published in the Illustrated London News on December 19th, 1857. It was apparently this story that inspired Boucicault to create his popular play. However, there are serious doubts about the veracity of the story itself. (For more on the story, see for example, the entry on "Jessie Brown of Lucknow" in The Traditional Tune Archive[1])

The play was first performed in Wallack's Theatre, New York, in 1858.

Published by Samuel French, New York, in 1858 in the series "Boucicault's Dramatic Works forming the repertoire of Miss Agnes Robertson, No VI".

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1877: Performed as The Relief of Lucknow in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town by the Disney Roebuck company on 21 September, with Delicate Ground, or Paris in 1793 (Dance).


Facsimile version of the promptbook, published by Samuel French in 1858, The Internet Archive[2]

F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1912. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp. 361,

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