Emigrants or a Trip to the Ohio, a Theatrical Farce (1817): A Comedic Portrayal of English Emigrants Who Never Get to America

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George Cumberland’s unpublished and almost unrecorded farce of about 1817 called The Emigrants or A Trip to The Ohio amiably pokes fun at Yankees, Yorkshiremen, Irishmen, and Utopians, and it is a treasure-house of slang, such as “Obstropelous”. Its polymath author was a prolific artist, inventor, geologist, poet, political radical, novelist, and intimate friend of William Blake.


“It is increasingly apparent that George Cumberland has to receive the critical attention he richly deserves. And this is just one of the reasons why Elizabeth Bentley’s (regrettably posthumously published) pioneer edition of The Emigrants is so welcome. In addition, for the first time we can encounter in rich context the most sustained indication of George Cumberland’s potential for writing plays. The Emigrants is an invaluable addition to Cumberland studies, one that will serve general readers and scholars handsomely for decades to come.”
Prof. Angus Whitehead,
National Institute of Education

"... this edition provides a valuable contribution to any university serious about supporting the study of eighteenth- or nineteenth-century British or American drama, especially if one is interested in the representation of the United States, its people, and its dialects in British literature. It is also a significant addition to holdings on Cumberland himself and Blake's circle of acquaintances."
Dr. James Rovira,
Mississippi College

Table of Contents

Table of Reproductions
Author’s Note
Angus Whitehead, “Preface”
Introduction: George Cumberland, a Polymath
George Cumberland and the Theatre
George Cumberland and “The Great Travelling Radicals”
Geographical Note on The Emigrants
The Emigrants or A Trip to The Ohio Transcription
End Notes to the Text
The Emigrants Reproductions
Characters in the Dramatis Personae
The Date of the Farce
Notes on the Manuscript
Notes on the Transcription of the Manuscript
Scene Designations
Stage Directions
Speech Headings
Punctuation and Capitalization
Manuscript Headings Corrected Here
Appendix A: Alterations in Parentheses
Appendix B: Other Changes in Cumberland’s Punctuation

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