The Cricket on the Hearth
The original text
The novella was first published by Bradbury and Evans, and released 20 December 1845 (though the title page has 1846) and contained illustrations by Daniel Maclise, John Leech, Richard Doyle, Clarkson Stanfield and Edwin Henry Landseer.
Translations and stage adaptations
An immediate success, the work saw no less than seventeen stage productions opening during the Christmas season of 1845. Only one had Dickens's approval and this one opened on the same day as the book's release. Dickens himself read the tale four times in public performance. For a time the novel was more popular as a performed piece than A Christmas Carol.
Dramatized versions known to have been seen in South Africa
An adaptation of the Dickens novella by Dion Boucicault, including a number of Shakespearian characters for example, it was licensed for Ben Webster at the Adelphi on 11 April 1859, but was first produced at the Winter Garden, New York, on September 14th, 1859. The London production only took place on 14 April 1862 in the Adelphi Theatre.
Sometimes found with the title Dot, or The Cricket on the Hearth.
Performance history of the story in South Africa
1861: Performed as The Cricket on the Hearth in the Theatre Royal by Sefton Parry and company, on 3 June. This uncredited text may have been any of the seventeen done in 1845, probably not Boucicault's recently written version which only opened in London in 1862.
1875: Performed as Dot, or The Cricket on the Hearth (and credited to Boucicault) in the Bijou Theatre, Cape Town by Captain Disney Roebuck's company on 7 April, with Little Toddlekins, or The 48-Pounder (Mathews).
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