In Trelawny of the Wells, Arthur Wing Pinero presents the zany, lively, and irresistible world of the London stage in 1860s, as theatre began to transition from Victorian melodrama to modern naturalism. Rose Trelawny, the star ingenue at the Bagnigge-Wells Theatre, is leaving the stage to marry her sweetheart, the young gentleman Arthur Gower. Arthur’s conservative family, led by his staunchly traditional grandfather, Sir William, object to Arthur’s marriage to an actress 一 they find Rose irrevocably raucous and wild, whereas she objects to being confined to their stuffy, strict upper-class code of conduct. Rose may never be able to abandon her art and her lifestyle in order to please the family of the man she loves; if she returns to the stage, though, she may never be able to perform with a broken heart. Trelawny of the Wells is a delightful, charming comedy with a lively cast of characters, and a loving portrait of the intoxicating life of a theatre artist.
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