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Lot 53

“Cockneys in California” & “Live Woman in the Mines”
Gold Rush Drama

53. [DRAMA]. 2 plays:

[1] COYNE, J. Stirling. The Minor Drama. No. XXXIII.Cockneys in California. "A Piece of Golden Opportunity." In One Act. By J. Stirling Coyne, Esq. With the Stage Business, Cast of Characters, Relative Positions, etc. New York: Samuel French, 122 Nassau Street, (Up Stairs.), [1850]. 19, [1, blank] pp. 12mo, original goldenrod printed wrappers, stitched. A few minor nicks and chips, one small clean tear to back wrap (no loss), otherwise fine.

     First edition. Cowan II, p. 148. Norris 888

Kurutz, The California Gold Rush 160:

The California Gold Rush provided the inspiration for this dramatic presentation. Scene two depicts English, Spanish, Americans, Indians, Mexicans, and African-Americans engaged in mining.

[2] [DELANO, Alonzo]. The Minor Drama. The Acting Edition. No. CXXX. A Live Woman in the Mines; Or, Pike County Ahead! A Local Play in Two Acts. By “Old Block.” To Which Are Added a Description of the Costume—Cast of the Characters—Entrances and Exits—Relative Positions of the Performers of the Stage, and the Whole of the Stage Business. New York: Samuel French, 122 Nassau Street, (Up Stairs.), [1857]. 36 pp. 12mo, original goldenrod printed wrappers, stitched. A few minor nicks and chips to wrappers and last few leaves, otherwise fine.

     First edition, first issue (imprint without price). Cowan II, p. 163. Holliday 285. Howell, California 50:413. Wheat, Books of the California Gold Rush 57n.

Kurutz, The California Gold Rush 178a:

"Old Block," of course, was Alonzo Delano. The date of copyright was 1857 and entered by Delano. In a prefatory note, he wrote: "The plot of this play is founded on fact. The history of John and Mary Wilson is that of hundreds who have come to California —and their misfortunes and ultimate success is a type of what many others have experienced within the author's knowledge." He went on to describe how he based all the characters on people he had met in the mining country.


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