Les Précieuses Ridicules

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Les Précieuses Ridicules (Loosely translated: "The ridiculously pretentious/precious young ladies" ) is a one-act satire in prose by Molière (Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, 1622–1673)[1].

The original text

The play was first produced in Paris on 18 November 1659 at the Théâtre du Petit-Bourbon.

Translations and adaptations

English translations

The Pretentious Young Ladies, by Henri Van Laun published in 1880 by R. Worthington, New York.

Dutch translations

De Belachelyke Hoofsche Juffers ("The ridiculous courtly girls") by Pieter de Lacroix (published by Jacob Lescailje in 1685 and by Izaak Duim, 1753)

De Belaglijke Juffers ("The ridiculous girls") by J.S. van Esveldt Holtrop (1806).

Belachelijke Hoofsche Juffers translated by S.J. Bouberg Wilson (Sybrand Jacobus Bouberg Wilson), first performed 1888, published 1889.

Afrikaans translations and adaptations

Translated and adapted for radio by F.P. van der Merwe as Die Aanstellerige Dames, most probably broadcast by the SABC Afrikaans service. A full set of the radio scripts was found in the radio archives of the Stellenbosch Drama Departement.

Performance history in South Africa

1809: Performed in the original French in Cape Town on 29 August, 1809 by local amateurs led by J. Riaux. Followed by something listed as a "Cantasmagorie" (possibly a misprint for "La Fantasmagorie" suggests Bosman) and a ballet by the pupils of Riaux.

1819: Performed on 7 August, 1819 in Dutch, as the afterpiece to De Speler (Iffland), by the local amateur group Men Doet Wat Men Kan, under the title De Belagchelyke Juffers ("The ridiculous girls"). According to F.C.L. Bosman (1928, p.135) the translation/adaptation was by "Bouberg Wilson" (i.e. S.J. Bouberg Wilson), though this seems highly unlikely, the Bouberg Wilson version was only published in 1889. The most likely text used is thus that of J.S. van Esveldt Holtrop (1805), given his specific spelling of the title and the fact that his translations of German and French plays were often used in the Cape at the time.




Copy of original Dutch text by Pieter de Lacroix, Google Books[2]

J.A. Worp, Geschiedenis van het drama en van het tooneel in Nederland. Deel 2, 1907: p. 447[3]

"S.J. Bouberg Wilson" Unicat[4]


F.C.L. Bosman. 1928. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel I: 1652-1855. Pretoria: J.H. de Bussy. [5]: pp. 127, 135.

A radio script, radio archives of the Stellenbosch Drama Departement.

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