No Thoroughfare


Wood engraving

Dicks' Standard Plays commonly re-published best-selling novels in play form, thereby avoiding paying royalties to the original author. Dicks' No. 1,052 is Louis Lequel's dramatic adaptation of the Dickens and Collins collaboration "No Thoroughfare" from the Christmas Special Supplement for All the Year Round in 1867. As a play in five acts (by Collins) it was first performed at the Adelphi Theatre, London. The story features the Collinsian "evil genius" Obenreizer, a character not unlike Count Fosco in The Woman in White.

Oddly enough for a Dicks Standard Play, it commemorates an American adaptation of "No Thoroughfare" by Louis Lequel, undoubtedly to avoid infringing on Wilkie Collins's British copyright but getting the text out cheaply to working-class readers.

Scanned image and text by Philip V. Allingham.

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