A Celebration of Women Writers
From the German of Kotzebue
|Text of "Lovers' Vows"||Historical Note||The Cast at Mansfield||Fanny's Opinion||Transcriber's Notes|
|Preface||Prologue; Dramatis Personae; & Act I||Act II|
|Act III||Act IV||Act V & Epilogue|
Biographia Dramatica gives particulars of no fewer than four adaptations of Kotzebue's Natural Son, all of which were published (1798-1800) under the name of Lovers' Vows; but only Mrs. Inchbald's version seems to have been performed, and there is no doubt of its being the Lovers' Vows of Mansfield Park, for the quotation on page 358 [RWC/Oxford] agrees with Mrs. Inchbald's text, and the number of Count Cassel's speeches is just two-and-forty.
[Further proof that Jane Austen refers to Mrs. Inchbald's edition: on page 132 (RWC/Oxford), Tom refers to "the rhyming butler", a character developed by Mrs. Inchbald. See preface. KLH]
Lovers' Vows had a great vogue and was frequently reprinted; a twelfth edition is recorded of 1799. The fifth edition here reprinted seems to be identical with the first, published in the same year.
Without such familiarity with Lovers' Vows as Miss Austen assumes her readers to possess, a large part of the first volume [of Mansfield Park] is not fully intelligible. Attention may in particular be directed to the passages in the preface in which Mrs. Inchbald dwells on her 'solicitude and alteration' of the part of Amelia—a solicitude thrown away upon Sir Thomas—and her reform of the 'dangerous insignificance of the Butler'.
Addendum to the OUP
|Agatha Friburg||Maria Bertram|
|Cottager & Butler||Tom Bertram|
|Cottager's Wife||Mrs. Grant|
|Baron Wildenhaim||Mr. Yates|
|Count Cassel||Mr. Rushworth|
From Volume I, Chapter 14
last paragraph, page 137 [RWC/OUP]
The first use [Fanny] made of her solitude was to take up the volume [of "Lovers' Vows"] which had been left on the table, and begin to acquaint herself with the play of which she had heard so much. Her curiosity was all awake, and she ran through it with an eagerness which was suspended only by intervals of astonishment, that it could be chosen in the present instance—that it could be proposed and accepted in a private Theatre! Agatha and Amelia appeared to her in their different ways so totally improper for home representation—the situation of one, and the language of the other, so unfit to be expressed by any woman of modesty, that she could hardly suppose her cousins could be aware of what they were engaging in; and longed to have them roused as soon as possible by the remonstrance which Edmund would certainly make.
A Play in Five Acts
by Mrs. Inchbald
from the German of Kotzebue
This e-text is taken from the 5th edition published in 1798. As the PREFACE. makes clear, "Lovers Vows." is not a direct translation of Kotzebue's play "Child of Love" (sometimes known as "Natural Son").
Each act is placed on a separate page. In the original, the PREFACE., PROLOGUE., which is spoken, and DRAMATIS PERSONAE are on individual pages. I put the PREFACE. on its own and placed the other two before ACT I. The same is true of the EPILOGUE., which I tacked on to the end of ACT V.
I placed a short divider between scenes which is not in the original. Nor are the END ACT notices.
The print copy has no blank lines between speeches. The speakers' names appear two spaces from the left margin and are in italics followed by a period. On the same line starts the speech. In the original, the EPILOGUE. was single spaced.
In the printed text, when a character enters or exits, the name is often in all CAPS. I retained this. In the original, some of the spoken words are emphasised by italics. The stage directions, actors in the DRAMATIS PERSONAE., and the speakers' names were all italicized.
In the HTML version I've created, I have used italics, centering, etc. as they are used in the printed copy. For ease of reading, I have placed the speakers' names in bold and skipped a line between speeches. I've also included <!---TEXT OF ACT BEGINS HERE---> and <!---TEXT OF ACT ENDS HERE---> tags in the appropriate places. The background and divider graphics were created for this online edition.
The Historical Note (RWC/Oxford) is NOT part of the play or the edition I transcribed.
I typed in the text and did the initial proofing and the HTML coding. Further proofing done by family members Marlett Hurt and Kerry Siniard.