A Play by Mary Elizabeth Braddon

(page by Jennifer Carnell)

Braddon's play Griselda, also known as Griselda; or, The Patient Wife, was performed at the Princess's Theatre in London in 1873. One of Braddon's attempts at a serious play, it was inspired by Chaucer's Patient Griselda and starred her old friend Wybert Rousby and the 'beautiful Mrs. Rousby' Clara Rousby. The play was not a success. Although George Augustus Sala wrote a positive review in Belgravia, his private view was that the play was poor.

Braddon wrote:
The story of 'Patient Griselda' has enjoyed a world-wide popularity during upwards of six hundred years. According to Philippo Foresti and Bouchet, Griseldis is not a fictitious person, but lived in 1025, and shortly after her death her history was written in a well-known book, called "Parement des Dames." Boccaccio, who told it in the last story of his "tenth day," sent a copy to Petrarch (…) Chaucer had the story from Petrarch himself, and versified it in his "Clerke's Tale." (…) It is now submitted, in dramatic form, to the British Public.'

Princess's Theatre Royal
Under the Sole Management of Mr. James Guiver

Every evening, at 8, a New Drama, in Four Acts,
Written by M.E. Braddon

Time: The middle of the 14th century.


Gualtiero - Mr. W. Rignold
Cosmo - Mr. Rousby
Paolo - Mr. Bruton
Beppo - Mr. Clarke
Envoy from Genoa - Mr. Egan
Lelio - Mr. Calhaem
First Courtier - Mr. Quentin
Second Courtier - Mr. Lloyd
Beggar - Mr. Tye
Griselda - Clara Rousby
Anna - Miss Everard
Anita - Miss Kemp

Directed by Alfred Nelson
Scenery - Frederick Fenton and Mr. Emden
Costumes - Samuel May and Mrs. Thompson
Props - Mr. Lightfoot
Gas - Mr. Cooper
Lime-light effects - Mr. Cox
Music composed by John Barnard
Box Office - Mr. F.H. Smith

Act I
Griselda's Home in a Valley at the Foot of the Alps
Act II
Under the Silver Moon. Gualtiere's Palace, Gardens and Lake
Gualtiere's Hunting Lodge
Act IV
Scene 1 Griselda's Home
Scene 2 An Ante-chamber in the Palace of Saluzzo

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