To Ada Cavendish, 2 August 1884








2nd August 1884




Dear Miss Cavendish,


I have the pleasure of


hereby granting to you


on the same /pecuniary/ terms


as those already arranged


between us the sole


authority to perform


my play, called



The New Magdalen,


during the period


occupied by your autumn


tour of the present year


such authority to extend

be only exercised by yourself personally


and to extend over Gt Britain and

Ireland, but not to


include London.


I remain






This interesting letter gives Ada Cavendish the exclusive right to perform The New Magdalen throughout the United Kingdom outside London in 1884.

Ada Cavendish (1839-1895) was an actress and theatre manager who produced the play when it was first performed in 1873 at the Olympic Theatre playing Mercy Merrick opposite Frank Archer as Julian Gray. She revived it a decade later and toured The New Magdalen in many provincial towns in 1883 and 1884. On 23 June 1883 Collins he wrote to Ada Cavendish to specify that she should pay 3 for each representation. Earlier on 9 June 1883 he thanked her for 50 'in part payment of the author's fees for the right of performing "The New Magdalen" in the provinces -- during your previous tours.' She later revived it in London at the Novelty in January 1884.


Ada Cavendish as Mercy Merrick in The New Magdalen taken by Napoleon Sarony in New York. She played the part in Augustin Daly's production and Wilkie Collins was involved in the production and present during its opening on 10 November 1873 when this photograph was taken.

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