The Married Rake

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The Married Rake is a farce in one act by Charles Selby (1802?-1863)[1].

In many digital and reprinted versions of the late 20th and early 21st centuries the play is unaccountably referred to as "A Frace", even though the original published texts all had the term "farce". For example the Turner and Fisher facsimile text[2] has "farce", but the catalogue card[3] given by the Hathi Trust Digital Library - said to be taken"from old catalog" - has "frace". Could this possible simply be a perpetuated typing error by a cataloguer or even the auto correct function of a computer? (Interestingly the word "frace" actually appears in an internet search. For example, besides the name for things such as an internet app, two anonymous contributers to The Urban Dictionary[4] (2005) list "frace" as a modern slang word, the least offensive definition given being "to perform intercourse with an intoxicated female, without legit consent".)

The original text

A one-act play about a wife who plays a practical joke on her husband because of his flirtatious indiscretions.

First produced at the Queen's Theatre, London, on 9 February, 1835. Published in (along with 5 othe rplays by Charles Selby) by Duncombe &​ Co. [1845?), by Thomas Hailes Lacy as No 27 of The New British Theatre, in 1835(?), Turner and Fisher (New York, circa 1840) and by Samuel French in 1859.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1866: Performed by the Le Roy-Duret Company in the Harrington Street Theatre, Cape Town, on 2 April, with The Lady of Lyons (Bulwer-Lytton)

1866: Performed in the Harrington Street Theatre, Cape Town by the Le Roy-Duret Company on 11 May, as afterpiece to the "Grand Shakespearian Entertainment" of Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare) and The Day after the Wedding (Kemble).


Facsimile version of the Lacy text, The Internet Archive[5]

Facsimile version of the Turner and Fisher text, Hathi Trust Digital Library[6]

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 1923. (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. 203-4, 311-314, 325.

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