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Dion Boucicault Collections

The Corsican Brothers

Accession code: UKC/CALB/CORS

"The Corsican Brothers; or, The Fatal Duel" is described as a legendary drama in three acts. Boucicault adapted Alexandre Dumas' French original while dramatist in residence at the Princess's Theatre. The play was first shown there in February 1852.

Characters in the play

The Ghost Melody from The Corsican Brothers
  • Fabian Dei Franchi
  • Louis Dei Franchi
  • Chateau Renaud
  • Baron de Montgiron
  • Baron Martelli
  • M. Meynard
  • Griffo
  • Tomaso
  • Boissec
  • Orlandi
  • Colonna
  • Antonio Sanolda
  • Dr. Tardieu
  • Madame Dei Franchi
  • Emile De Lesparre
  • Maria
  • Celestine
  • Coralie
  • Estelle

Plot

The Corsican Brothers is a story of revenge and honour, adapted by Boucicault from the original by Alexandre Dumas. The brothers from the title are Fabian and Louis Dei Franchi. When the play begins, Fabian is at the family home in Corsica, and Louis is living in Paris.

Acts one and two are supposed to occur simultaneously, act one showing Fabian's reactions to a vision and act two showing what did actually happen. At the end of act one the audience, Fabian, and his mother, see the ghost of Louis appear on the stage and show them the image of his death. In act two the audience learns that Louis Dei Franchi has travelled to Paris in pursuit of a lady, Madame De Lesparre, with whom both brothers had fallen in love. Fabian steps back and allows his brother to pursue Madame De Lesparre to Paris while he stays in Corsica with their mother. Unfortunately, on arriving in Paris Louis discovers that Madame De Lesparre has been married and he vows to stay away from her. However, her husband, curious at Louis refusal to meet with them, questions him. Louis admits that he was in love with Madame De Lesparre. Instead of being angry, her husband admires Louis' honesty and asks him to protect her while he is away on a trip.

Lady De Lesparre is also pursued by Chateau Renaud, a duellist and womaniser. They both arrive at a dinner party Louis is attending and, after an argument, Lady De Lesparre asks Louis to take her home. Chateau Renaud takes umbrage and challenges Louis to a duel, who accepts the challenge. The scene ends with Louis being killed by a sword wound to the chest and swearing to tell his family about his death.

Act three opens with Chateau Renaud and Montgiron, Renaud's friend and second at the duel, trying to flee the country after Louis' death. However, their carriage crashes in the very part of the forest where Louis died. Fabian Dei Franchi suddenly appears from among the trees and both the other men think they are looking at the ghost of Louis. Fabian introduces himself and swears to have revenge on the man who killed his brother. He and Chateau Renaud have a sword fight and Chateau Renaud is killed, Louis is avenged. The play ends with the ghost of Louis advancing across the stage.

Productions of The Corsican Brothers

Production 1
Princess's Theatre, Oxford Street, St. Marylebone, London, England
24.2.1852

Related Material

Printed edition
Item number: 0596798
Pollock's Juvenile Drama edition

Printed edition
Item number: 0596411
Adaptation by Charles Webb; Music Publishing Company edition

Printed edition
Item number: 0591433
Adaptation by F. F. Cooper; Dicks' standard plays edition

Printed edition
Item numbers: 0596514, 0591432, 0590798
Adaptation by F. F. Cooper; Dicks' standard plays edition

Printed edition
Item number: 0590809
Adaptation by Harwood Cooper; Purkess's Penny Pictorial Plays edition

Printed edition
Item number: 0590513
Adaptation by Eugene Grange; Lacy edition

Printed edition
Item numbers: 0597195, 0590512
Adaptation by Eugene Grange; Lacy edition

The ten printed editions of the play above are part of the Pettingell Collection. Some have additional typed cast lists and handwritten notes throughout the text. The only edition of Boucicault's adaptation we hold is the one listed below.

Printed edition
Item number: 0415213
Selected Plays by Dion Boucicault; Colin Smythe edition

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Last Updated: 01/02/2018