Modern Wives

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Modern Wives is a farce by E. Warren (fl.1880s)

Not to be confused with the comedy The Modern Wife, or the Virgin Her Own Rival by John Stevens (1744)

The original text

No information on either the play or the author can be found beyond references to performance some time in 1887 and the South African performance noted below. One source may be read as suggesting this could have been the work of Eliza Warren (1810-1900)[1], an American journalist, editor and the author of a number of works on domestic matters; another that E. Warren is the pseudonym of "E.G. Walters" (unknown to Google) and a third source says the text had been "taken from A. Velabrague" (another name unknown to Google). They all give the date of the work as 1887.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1889: Performed by Luscombe Searelle and his company as part of a rather unsuccessful season in the Exhibition Theatre, Cape Town during the latter half of the year.

1900: Performed by the Herbert Flemming Company as part of an extended season in the Opera House, Cape Town.


Allardyce Nicoll. 1975. A History of English Drama 1660-1900: Late 19th Century Drama 1850-1900 Cambridge University Press: p.614[2]

Tearsheets on British and U.S. Stage Productions, 1818-1933 Inventory, Toronto Public Library[3]

Marianne Van Remoortel. 2015. Women, Work and the Victorian Periodical: Living by the Press Springer[4]

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: pp.388, 408

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