The Bride of Abydos

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The Bride of Abydos can be a reference to any one of three possible works:

The Bride of Abydos (1813), a heroic poem by Lord Byron

This was published in 1813. It is the source for the other two works.

For more on the poem, see for example the entry in Wikipedia[1]

The Bride of Abydos (1818), a "tragick play" in three acts by William Dimond

William Dimond (c. 1784–1837?)[2] based his play on Byron's poem of the same name. The text was first performed at Drury Lane Theatre, London, on 5 February 1818 and published the same year by Richard White in London.

The Bride of Abydos, or The Prince, the Pirate and the Pearl (1858), a burlesque by H.J. Byron

Sometines simply referred to as The Bride of Abydos

The original text

This version of Lord Byron's tale, by Henry J. Byron (1835-1884)[3], is called "An original oriental, burlesque extravaganza in verse" and was most probably a burlesque version of the poem rather than the 1818 drama and was first performed at the Strand Theatre, London, on 31 May, 1858 and the text was published in London by T.H. Lacy, 1858.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1861: Performed as The Bride of Abydos, or The Prince, The Pearl and The Pirate 15 January under the auspices of the Cape Town Dramatic Club in the Cape Town Dramatic Club Theatre, with Gale Breezely, or The Tale of a Tar (Johnstone). The evening a joint benefit for Mrs. C. Fraser and Mr. H. Seymour.

1869: Performed as The Bride of Abydos (probably also the burlesque version) in Grahamstown by the officers and men of the 32nd Light Infantry in Grahamstown, with A Wonderful Woman (D'Ennery/Dance), in the presence of the Lieutenant Governor and the local elite.


Facsimile version of the 1858 play by Byron, Hathi Trust Digital Library[4]

F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1912. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp.154, 299

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