Jim and Jacky suggested I contact Dwayne Brenna directly when I realized that I would not be able to consult a copy of his dissertation on George Dibdin Pitt
while I was in England; he generously sent me relevant portions, which are liberally cited edition.
In this section, I first tell the life story of George Dibdin Pitt, the author of the 1847 melodrama The String of Pearls, or The Fiend of Fleet Street.
Perhaps the most prolific British playwright in history, George Dibdin Pitt came from a well known theatrical family, going all the way back to his great-grandmother, Ann Pitt (1720?-1799).
In 1826, George Dibdin Pitt, his wife, and their four children returned to London where he found work at various theatres acting, stage managing, and-beginning in 1831-play writing.
It also housed theatre people, as many of the Britannia's own acting company lived nearby (Davis and Emeljanow 74-76), including George Dibdin Pitt.
The novel George Dibdin Pitt chose to adapt into a melodrama for the Britannia's two-week run beginning March 1, 1847 was a serial called The String of Pearls: A Romance.
'George Dibdin Pitt.' Dictionary of Literary Biography.
'Playwright In Extremis: George Dibdin Pitt Revisited.' Theatre Notebook 53.1 (1999), 41-47.
Ostensibly then Sondheim, and Bond before him, 'radicalised' the work of George Dibdin Pitt, who created the first Sweeney Todd melodrama, although neither seem to be aware that Pitt was one of the more socially radical dramatists of his time.
(11) 'George Dibdin Pitt: Actor and Playwright', Theatre Notebook, LII:1 (1998), 33.