H.M.S. Pinafore by James Fletcher Smith
From the PUBLISHERS' NOTE, Boston USA, 1935: "Since 1875 when the musical comedies of William S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan first appeared on the London stages, those vehicles of song and laughter and good wholesome satire have brought pleasure to an ever increasing number of enthusiasts of all ages. As a result of this popularity, much has been written about these operas and their composers, but unfortunately one considerable and very important portion of the Gilbert and Sullivan audiences have been seriously neglected in this field of books. That is--the children.
"We have recognized this lack and because we believe in the value--in terms of the most lasting and happiest impressions--of bringing the child into early contact with the best the arts have produced, we take unusual pleasure in publishing an adaptation of H.M.S. PINAFORE, the first volume of the 'STORIES FROM GILBERT AND SULLIVAN' Series. With this and subsequent titles, we hope to do for young readers something of what Charles and Mary Lamb have done with their famous TALES FROM SHAKESPEARE.
"In publishing this Series, we have in mind all young people from seven to seventy for they have in common that of the spirit which will enable them to enjoy together the same qualities in a book. To serve this purpose, the author endeavors to achieve a style which for lightness of touch and humor is close to the lyric whimsicality of the originals.
"H.M.S. PINAFORE is the first of the Series in uniform editions to include THE MIKADO, THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE, PATIENCE, THE GONDOLIERS, IOLANTHE, THE YEOMEN OF THE GUARD, and RUDDIGORE."
The book included here, H.M.S. PINAFORE, unfortunately, is both the first and last of the intended series. No other Gilbert and Sullivan children's books were adapted by James Fletcher Smith, nor published by L. C. Page of Boston.
James Fletcher Smith succeeds in telling a story which is both the 'same as' and 'different from' that told by W. S. Gilbert. For example he writes: "Though few of those present could have explained at all clearly what baby farming was, not one had failed to see the importance of Little Buttercup's secret."
The story takes place on H.M.S. PINAFORE while anchored in Portsmouth Harbor. Dialogue that adapter Smith extracted from Gilbert's libretto, has been placed in bold quotation marks by this Editor.
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