A: Edward Bulwer-Lytton Pf: 1840, London Pb: 1840 G: Com. in 5 acts; prose S: Sir John Vesey's house, Evelyn's house, and a gentlemen's club, London, 1830s C: 18m, 3f, extrasAlfred Evelyn is a poor, hard-working, intelligent young man, factotum to a distant relative, the mercenary Sir John Vesey. When Evelyn asks for £10 for his mother's old nurse, Sir John and his friends refuse to help. Only Clara Douglas, another poor orphaned relative living in Sir John's house, secretly sends money to the nurse. When Evelyn proposes to Clara, she refuses, unable to contemplate a life of poverty with him. Evelyn inherits a huge fortune, and suddenly everyone becomes his friend. Sir John urges his daughter Georgina to forget her intended, the young dandy Sir Frederick Blount, and to entrap Evelyn. When Evelyn is told that the secret gift to his nurse came from Georgina, he becomes engaged to her. He still loves Clara, but Clara finds now that ‘his wealth, even more than poverty, separates [them] for ever’. Secretly he provides for Clara. Suspicious of Georgina's motives, Evelyn pretends to have gambled away his fortune. She goes back to Blount, and Clara admits that she not only sent the £10 to the nurse but even secretly provided for Evelyn when he was seemingly destitute. Evelyn's fortune is intact, and he and Clara can now marry happily.
A: Edward Bulwer-Lytton Pf: 1840, London Pb: 1840 G: Com. in 5 acts; prose S: Sir John Vesey's house, Evelyn's house, and a gentlemen's club, London, 1830s C: 18m, 3f, extras
Bulwer-Lytton was one of the few English playwrights of the early 19th century to possess both dramatic and literary merit, and Money is his best play. The plotting is intricate, scenes with several characters on stage are skilfully managed, and the theme of the play is striking. While most romantic comedies solve their problems by providing the hero with a fortune, Money starts with the acquisition of wealth and develops the action from there.