Broadside for Skeleton Lover. History of the Book Trade.
Broadside for Skeleton Lover
Broadside for Skeleton Lover
Broadside for Skeleton Lover
Broadside for Skeleton Lover

Broadside for Skeleton Lover

London: English Opera Company, 1830. 8 1/2 x 13 1/2" broadside, printed on pale blue paper.

Original broadside for the second night of this play, a drama '"Founded on a Black Letter Tract entitled "The Condign Punishment of a Transylvanian Necromancer"' and performed at the Adelphi Theatre, Strand, and produced during the craze for all things supernatural following the publication of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Notably, however, the emphasis on Transylvania predates the publication of Bram Stoker's Dracula by almost 70 years, though we've not been able to locate a transcript or description of the work to see if there is any vampire content.

Judging from the cast of characters, the book trade seems to have played a role in the work. A prominent character named Balthazar Elzevir, played by W. Bennett, is described as an "aged bookseller." Another unnamed character is described as a book-dealer, played by J. Cooper. The opening scene takes place at the "Leipsic Fair", which we're tempted to think might be a reference to the longrunning Leipzig book fair.

The Adelphi Theater Calendar project at UMass notes a contemporary review that condemned Skeleton Lover for "nastiness" and as a "piece of vulgarity." No word if this was because of the supernatural content or because of the inclusion of booksellers.

This version of the poster was made to advertise the second night's performance. The Museum of London holds an example advertising the fourth night of the performance.

Extremely brittle, with extensive chipping affecting some letters at upper margin, a poor example in need of stabilization. Item #25962

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