Dorothy O' the Hall by Paul Kester
American author Charles Major produced the all-time best-selling story of the Dorothy Vernon / John Manners romance with his 1902 novel Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall. American playwright Paul Kester adapted the story for his play of the same name.
The play Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall opened on December 14, 1903 at the New York Theatre for forty performances. Bertha Galland was twenty-seven when she first played the eighteen year old Dorothy Vernon.
The Lord Chamberlain in London announced that he would not allow the play to be produced in England, thinking that some of the scenes cast too lurid a light on the royalty. The story of the play dealt with the doings and misdoings of Queen Elizabeth, Mary Queen of Scots, and various of their followers. However the English rights had already been sold to the famous English acting pair, Fred Terry and wife Julia Neilson. Terry and Neilson renamed the play Dorothy O' the Hall and it opened in London in 1906, where it ran for 97 performances.
Messrs. Major and Kester took many liberties with the original story and with historical accuracy. Most notable is that Dorothy was eighteen in 1563 and Mary Queen of Scots fled from Scotland to England in 1568; however, in the play both events occur within weeks of each other. Also, neither Queen has been historically linked to Haddon Hall.
Kester sharply etches a strong Dorothy, fearless John, and autocratic Sir George. It is a Haddon Hall tale of adventure and intrigue which will keep the reader guessing as to the outcome, which is quite dissimilar from the other versions.
Dorothy O' the Hall has been included in the book Haddon Hall Elopement Stories. A printed copy of the book may be purchased at www.LULU.com/shop
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