Crime! And Squalor! And Melodrama!

The Revelations of a Private Detective. [Bound with :] The Streets of London founded upon Dion Boucicault's Popular Drama now performing at the Princess's Theatre.

London: Ward and Lock, 158 Fleet Street; David Bryce, 44, Paternoster ROw, 1863; n.d. [1864].

Price: $1,000.00

About the item

First editions. 320; [iii]-vi, 342 pp. 1 vols. 12mo. Crime! And Squalor! And Melodrama! Contemporary half purple calf and marbled boards, edges marbled. Spine toned, some rubbing. Very good. First title: Sadleir 3529, Hubin p. 153; Second title: not in BL; only 1 copy in OCLC (UCLA).

Item #243101

Forrester's Revelations of a Private Detective was originally issued in yellow-backed pictorial boards (Sadleir illustrates the front cover); an early and popular work, the title was re-issued in 1868. The Streets of London is an anonymous prose novelization of a popular play, which playwright, actor, and theatrical entrepreneur Dion Boucicault opened at the Princess's Theatre on 1 August 1864. "It was his part in the collaborative composition of The Poor of New York, which opened at Wallack's to ecstatic notices on 8 December 1857, that alerted Boucicault, not only to the capital to be made out of vividly staged sensation scenes in melodrama, but also to the marketability of contemporary events" (ODNB). Back in England in 1863 and facing bankruptcy, Boucicault adapted his New York play to draw large audiences in Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester, and finally London.