When knighthood was in flower


When knighthood was in flower
   Julia Marlowe was criticized for departing from Shakespearean roles when she appeared in Paul Kester's four-act play (based on a novel by Charles Major). Marlowe had the last laugh when the production's success, both in New York and on tour, made her a fortune with which she financed her commitment to Shakespearean productions. When Knighthood Was in Flower opened on 14 January 1901 for 176 performances at the Criterion Theatre, produced by Charles Frohman. Marlowe played Mary Tudor, Henry VIII's sister, who is ordered to marry France's Louis II. In love with a commoner, Charles Brandon (played by Bruce McRae), Mary refuses. When she and Charles attempt to escape, they are arrested by Henry's army and she is forced to marry Louis. Conveniently, Louis dies shortly thereafter and Mary is reunited with Charles. Marlowe brought When Knighthood Was in Flower back to New York for a brief run in 1904 and successfully toured with it. Motion picture versions appeared in 1922 and 1953 (retitled The Sword and the Rose), but were based on Major's novel, not Kester's play.

The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. .

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