The Second Mrs. Tanqueray was the theatrical sensation of the London stage in 1893. It established Pinero as the leading English dramatist of serious social issues, and created a star out of Mrs. Patrick Campbell in the title role. The play recounts the marriage of a “woman with a past” and how it fails because of the double standard of morality applied unequally and hypocritically by Victorian society to men and women.
This Broadview edition includes a thoroughly revised text based on the author’s manuscript, the prompt copy for the first production, and the published first edition; it also incorporates pertinent stage directions from the first production. The critical introduction examines all facets of the play and its production, and the appendices make accessible a wide variety of hard-to-find contemporary contextual materials related to the play.
“Although I have known this play for many years, J.P. Wearing’s introduction sheds new light on many interesting aspects of the piece, which I look forward to teaching afresh with the benefit of this text. The footnotes and the supplementary material all help in understanding the play, placing it in the social and legal context of its day. Not that it is a mere period piece; Pinero’s skill as a playwright is impressive, and one hopes that this edition will encourage new productions.” — Richard Foulkes, University of Leicester
“A century and more after the fact, A.W. Pinero’s most penetrating play, The Second Mrs. Tanqueray, has now been given a full-dress evaluative and contextual editorial treatment that does complete justice to its subject. J.P. Wearing, editor of Pinero’s letters, has brought his finely honed scholarly skills and broad knowledge of English theatre and culture to the task of presenting the single most authoritative text of Pinero’s play in existence and surrounding it with several sets of informative critical, social, and cultural writing, along with a comprehensive introduction, chronology, and bibliography. An immense amount of research lies behind this enterprise, and a great range of potential readers, from undergraduate and graduate students to historians and critics, will be the beneficiaries.” — Joseph Donohue, Professor Emeritus, University of Massachusetts