The Princess by L. May Haughwout
Laura May Haughwout of Baltimore, Maryland dramatized Tennyson's 1847 poem The Princess for amateur performances by college level students in 1891. Her approach is described by her:
When I first drew from The Princess by Tennyson the following play, I had not thought of ever publishing it, my sole aim being to increase the culture of my pupils, and at the same time to prepare a chaste entertainment for their friends. Since that time so many persons have appealed to me for copies of it, or for suggestions as to a classical entertainment that would not be beyond the capabilities of school-girls, nor the possibilities of an average chapel-stage, that I have decided to publish it, in the hope that other teachers and pupils may enjoy its interpretation as did I and mine.
I have not tried to embody all the gems of the poem in this mimic drama, for who could enter the "Valley of Diamonds" and hope to carry them all away? So reluctantly I passed many jewels of thought as I culled from the glittering array. Sorry indeed was I to leave out Psyche's "Maiden-babe," but any representation of that ideal of infant loveliness would be sheer burlesque. The camp, the battle, the wounding of the Prince and others, I felt were all too difficult for us to handle, so I took the liberty of introducing the denouement more abruptly than it is in the original poem.
Several of the interlude ballads are used as descriptive of time and transitions not otherwise expressed: as "The Cradle Song" to represent night; "Home they brought her warrior dead," to represent Ida's softening and repentance
I must be pardoned for the origin of a character to whom Lord Tennyson has not been introduced; and yet if "Ipse" be carefully studied, perhaps he will be found to be "mine host" of the hostel, dressed up in finer plumes. History furnishes us many promotions not less startling. L. M. H.
The Princess by L. May Haughwout has been included in the book The Princess and Princess Ida. A printed copy of the book may be purchased at www.LULU.com/shop
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