The original text
Considered by many as Dickens's masterpiece, it was originally called The Personal History, Adventures, Experience and Observation of David Copperfield the Younger of Blunderstone Rookery, it was first published as a serial in 1849–50, and as a book by Bradbury & Evans in 1850.
Translations and adaptations
Even as the serial version was being published, six dramatizations were done, the first being Born with a Caul by George Almar (1850). These were followed by twenty other versions in the 1850s, including a few by Dickens himself - inter alia versions prepared for his famous dramatic recitals from his work.
Full-scale stage versions seen in South Africa include:
David Copperfield by John Brougham (1851)
Adapted as a drama in three acts John Brougham (1810-1880) and performed at the Lyceum Theatre, London, on 6 January 1851. Published in London by Dicks.
Little Em'ly by Andrew Halliday (1869)
Adapted for the stage as a drama in four acts and named after the key character Little Em'ly from the novel. Warmly approved of by Dickens himself, the play opened at the Olympic Theatre, London, on 9 October 1869 and went on to enjoy a long run at Drury Lane and throughout the colonies.
Performance history in South Africa
"Charles Dickens Theatre Collection", Library Catalogue of the University of Kent
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