Prospero's Bookshelf

2 Plays by Clyde Fitch: Beau Brummel, The Climbers

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2 Plays by Clyde Fitch (1865-1906)-- Beau Brummel (1890) and The Climbers (1901) show Fitch's tremendous popularity.

  • Clyde Fitch was the first millionaire playwright in America.
  • In 1901 four of his plays were in Broadway theaters at the same time.
  • Combining comedy and melodrama, Fitch wrote or adapted 55 plays.
  • Beau Brummel was written particularly for Richard Mansfield.

These copies of Beau Brummel (Samuel French Acting Edition)  and The Climbers (1905 Little Brown & Co. uncut literary publication) are interesting as early play publications in American drama.

  • Richard Mansfield (1854-1907) was a major Broadway Star at this time.
  • Beau Brummel was first produced in NY on May 17, 1890; it had its 250th representation on January 30, 1891.
  • This rather elaborate Samuel French Acting Edition of Beau Brummel indicates its success

    The Climbers, 1901, includes these ridiculing lines on New York Society: "Oh, my dear, that's just it! The watchword of our age is self!  We are all for ourselves; the twentieth century is to be a glorification of selfishness; the Era of Egotism. "

  • The commercial edition by Little Brown of The Climbers is an uncut copy.
  • The Climbers is a biting satire on New York society.

The condition of these two paperback books is only fair.

  • Beau Brummel with well browned pages and losing its cover is well handled but still firm in binding.  This copy prints only a copyright date of 1908 but has to be published sometime after 1914.  It measures 5 inches by 7 1/2 inches  by 3/8 inch and has 142 pages.
  • The Climbers lacks its front cover, has ragged back cover and flyleaves and shows the uneven pages of a printed but uncut copy.  It measures 5 1/2 inches by 7 1/2 inches by 3/4 inch and has uncut pages numbered 472 through 721. 

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