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Through many years, Scribe’s drama provided the most popular theatrical entertainment, not only in France but in many parts of Europe, nearly four hundred plays of one genre and another issuing from his pen during the period from 1815 to 1860. Although these plays have little interest from a purely literary or stylistic point of view, they offer a highly interesting picture of contemporary life and are further valuable as a social symptom. Both these elements are stressed in the present book, the first adequate English critique of Scribe’s work. It is based not only upon published sources but upon the voluminous documents in the possession of Scribe’s daughter-in-law.