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Patrick McCarthy <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Charles Dickens Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 18 Apr 2003 10:47:21 -0700
TEXT/PLAIN (36 lines)

        Our newest subscriber, Dr. Beryl Gray <[log in to unmask]>, has been
reading our recent posts on "No Thoroughfare," the play written by Dickens
and Wilkie Collins, and enlarges our knowledge in the following message:
(pjm) [See post from Dickens Forum of 11 April entitled "New
Collins/Dickens Text Identified"]
It is good that the original adaptation of the story is now more easily
available than it has been.  Copies are certainly rare: the Sotheby,
Wilkinson & Hodge catalogue for 7 July 1913 states that only seven copies
were issued (the British Library has two).  Scholars can now more readily
ascertain that it was about this (unmountably long) version that Dickens
expressed his justifiable misgivings to both Collins and his sub-editor,
Wills (see Pilgrim Letters, XI, pp. 520 and 528), and not to the
dramatization as it was presented on the stage, and subsequently in

That necessarily substantial cuts were made before the opening at
the Adelphi on 26 December 1867 is clear from De Witt's Acting Play, No.
14 [1868], which Beppe Sabatini acknowledges [s]he hasn't examined.  This
version not only claims to print every word spoken on the Adelphi stage,
but also offers meticulously detailed and - where appropriate -
diagrammatic information on every aspect of the production, including the
playing time (3 hours and 40 minutes).

Whether what Beppe Sabatini calls the 'old, short, bad' version published
by Matz (now also accessible through the Inimitable-Boz Newsletter) is an
accurate or inaccurate reissue of that published by De Witt, there is no
reason to suppose that the available De Witt text (shorter than that
published by the office of All the Year Round, but not 'short') is either
corrupt or bad.

Yours sincerely
(Dr) Beryl Gray