[IRVING, Henry, Sir (1838-1905)]. BOUCICAULT, Dion (ca 1820-1890). [Dropped head title:] Hunted Down; or Two Lives of Mary Leight. A Drama in Three Acts. N.p. [London?], December 1865.
Large 8o (225 x 138 mm). 36 pp., printed on rectos only, interleaved with blanks. (Minor marginal fraying and soiling.) 19th-century half red morocco uncut, original front wrapper with notes bound in (extremities rubbed); red cloth folding case.
DION BOUCICAULT'S EXTENSIVELY ANNOTATED PROMPT COPY of the play in which Henry Irving first appeared before London audiences (1866). A most remarkable memento of Irving's pivotal London appearance as the villain Rawdon Scudamore, a role he created. On the first page, the author has written in a calligraphic hand: "Property of Dion Boucicault Esqr. Prompt Copy of [printed title] Produced St James Theatre on 5 November 1866" and has added the names of the actors next to their roles, including "Mr. H. Irving." In the script, notes and annotations appear in ink, pencil and red pencil. Many lines and individual words are underlined for emphasis, some lines are altered or deleted, musical starts and stops (and "agitato" in one spot) are indicated, "L," "C" and "R" are used to indicate the actors' positions on stage, while cryptic stage and lighting directions ("Lights down," "Floats ½ down," "Borders ¾") occur in many places. On the last page, Boucicault indicates the return of the musical theme ("Hearts & Homes") at the fall of the curtain, and records the time required for each of the three acts, totaling "with waits 2 hours 6 minutes."
Provenance: Clement William Scott (1859-1904), principal dramatic critic for the (London) Daily Telegraph, (1871-1898), editor The Theatre (1880-1889), woodcut bookplate. With Scott's penciled note on preliminary blank: "This was the play in which Henry Irving made the first success of his London career. He had created the part of Rawdon Scudamore in Manchester and was brought to London by Dion Boucicault. I was present at the first night made Henry Irving's acquaintance shortly afterwards. C.S."