The Initials

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The Initials is a drama in two acts by an unknown playwright.

The original text

Most probably a dramatized version of the novel called The Initials: A Story of Modern Life[1] by Baroness Jemima Montgomery Tautphoeus (1807-1893)[2], first published by Richard Bentley, London, in 1850. Set in Bavaria, where the Irish-born authoress then lived, it was a tale of suspense with a happy dénouement about two contrasting German sisters. The novel became highly popular despite attracting little critical attention.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1860: Performed as The Initials in the Cabinet Theatre, Cape Town, on 5 March by the company brought together by Charles Fraser, with Annie Rowlands as one of the cast. Also performed was The Child of the Regiment (Morton) and A Pair of Pigeons ().


Facsimile version of the first edition of the original novel, Hathi Trust Digital Library[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.127

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