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Earl of Pawtucket


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A: Augustus Thomas Pf: 1903, New York Pb: 1903 G: Com. in 3 acts S: Pawtucket, Rhode Island, 1900s C: 6m, 2fLord Cardington has run away to America from England to avoid a summons from the House of Lords and to see how well he can survive without his title. He assumes the identity of a certain Putnam, an American he had befriended in England. He begins to woo Harriet Fordyce, unaware that she is the former Mrs Putnam. A further complication develops when, because Putnam was the last person seen together with Lord Cardington before his mysterious disappearance, Putnam is suspected of his murder. The fake Putnam now finds himself pursued by the police. In a further comic twist, he is also hounded by lawyers demanding alimony from the very woman he is intending to marry. Eventually, all the complications are resolved, and his lordship settles down to a happy future as an American commoner and husband to an amused Harriet.

A: Augustus Thomas Pf: 1903, New York Pb: 1903 G: Com. in 3 acts S: Pawtucket, Rhode Island, 1900s C: 6m, 2f

Augustus Thomas, author of some 36 original plays, is noted for the American themes of most of his plays, many of them set in the Civil War. Here, underneath the plot complications of conventional comedy, Thomas explores the contrast between the world of privilege and constraint represented by the English class system and the freedom offered by the New World, significantly located in Pawtucket, home of the first water-driven cotton mill and cradle of the American industrial revolution.

Subjects: Theatre — Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights).


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