Un Fils de Famille

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Un Fils de Famille is a comédie-vaudeville in three acts by Jean-François-Alfred Bayard (1796-1853)[1] and Edmond de Biéville (1814-1880)[2].

(Written Un fils de famille in French).

The original text

First performed in Paris at the Théâtre du Gymnase, on 25 November, 1852. Published and a new edition by Michel Lévy Frères, 1867

The original text

The play was adapted into English as The Queen's Shilling by J.W. Godfrey. First performed in London in and published in London by J. Miles & Co in 1888. In ‎1889 it was played at the New National Theatre, Washington, by Mr. and Mrs. Kendal and their company, directed by Daniel Frohman, and the orchestra under the direction of A.W. Schroeder

The English title refers to the practice known as the "King's shilling" (or the "Queen's shilling" in the case of a Queen on the throne)[3], of a payment of one shilling given to recruits to the Armed forces of the United Kingdom in the 18th and 19th centuries, although the practice dates back to the end of the English Civil War. To "take the King's shilling" was to agree to serve as a soldier or sailor in the Royal Navy or the British Army. It is closely related to the act of impressment. The practice officially stopped in 1879, although the term is still used informally.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1886: Performed as The Queen's Shilling by Madame Pearmain and her company as part of a short season of eleven plays put in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town, from 22 November onwards.


Facsimile version of the 1867 French text, Google E-Book[4]




Kendal, William Hunter Grimston called 1843-1917, WorldCat Identities[5]



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.383

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