Graphics, Image for The Octoroon; or, Life in Louisiana
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Graphics, Image for The Octoroon; or, Life in Louisiana
THE   ADELPHI   THEATRE   CALENDAR
A Record of Dramatic Performances at a Leading Victorian Theatre

Formerly the Sans Pareil (1806-1819), later the Adelphi (1819-1900)
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Title:The Octoroon; or, Life in Louisiana
Description:The Octoroon; or, Life in Louisiana by Dion Boucicault.  Scene "The sale of the Octoroon (ZoŽ)" ZoŽ was played by the author's wife, Agnes Robertson.
1st Performance:Nov 18, 1861
Theatre:Adelphi
Source:The Illustrated London News, Nov 30, 1861, p. 562
Review:The Illustrated London News, Nov 30, 1861, p. 562

SCENE FROM MR. BOUCICAULT'S NEW DRAMA.

THE SLAVE MARKET--SALE OF THE OCTOROON.

We have selected the "sensation scene" from Mr. Boucicault's new drama of "The Octoroon" for an illustration this week.  This particular scene recommends itself from its truthfulness.  In delineating the dreadful business which it represents, the dramatist has attempted no exaggeration.  He has treated it as a familiar horror, one which society has accepted as portion of the regular business of the market and legalised as an institution.  However abominable it may be, it is authorised.  Those who observe, and those who are actively engaged in the transaction, alike acquiesce in the fact and the principle, as if there were no outrage being done to nature, no sin against humanity committed.  Any external demonstration of excitement would be improper.  What conflict there is goes on within.  That beautiful Octoroon--what feels she?  They who would save her from the threatened degradation--what feel they?  And in that determined wretch, who exceeds his means in her purchase--O!  What a hell there is in his bosom, of premeditated guilt, and even already of an anticipated remorse!  The picture is presented on the stage in fine taste.

There can be no doubt that if it had been morally possible for the author to have given a happier ending to his drama it would have been more immediately popular.  But we do not think that this circumstance will at all interfere with its run.  The audience take all through a strong interest in the fate of the heroine, and this is manifested by the reluctance they feel at the end when the victim finds no refuge but in death.

 

The Illustrated London News, Nov 30, 1861, p. 561

 

 

The Illustrated London News, Nov 30, 1861, p. 562

 



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Copyright © 1988, 1992, 2013 by Alfred L. Nelson, Gilbert B. Cross, Joseph Donohue.
Originally published by Greenwood Press as The Sans Pareil Theatre 1806-1819, Adelphi Theatre 1819-1850: An Index to Authors, Titles, Performers, 1988, and The Adelphi Theatre 1850-1900: An Index to Authors, Titles, Performers and Management, 1992.
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The Adelphi Theatre Calendar revised, reconstructed and amplified.  Copyright © 2013, by Alfred L. Nelson, Gilbert B. Cross, Joseph Donohue.  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License, with the exception of graphics from The Clip Art Book, edited by Gerard Quinn and published by Crescent in 1990.  These images are reproduced in accord with the publisherís note, which states "The Clip Art Book is a new compilation of illustrations that are in the public domain.  The individual illustrations are copyright free and may be reproduced without permission or payment.  However, the selection of illustrations and their layout is the copyright of the publisher, so that one page or more may not be photocopied or reproduced without first contacting the publishers."