Until Quinn edited it in 1917, The Broker was known only through Forrest's productions. The various manuscripts show how much care Bird lavished on its composition. Also exhibited is a heavily annotated copy of a late edition of Quinn's printed version. It shows the care with which Quinn's Penn students--Godfrey Frank Singer, who marked this copy, was one of them--had to read it.
The great Penn champion of American drama Professor Arthur Hobson Quinn sought long and hard to establish a genuinely American dramatic tradition and history independent of England's. He found in Bird's plays much "fine achievement"; but his judgment strikes later readers as overstated and Bird's plays have generally disappeared from American theater history. This disappearance is a loss. If they are less wonderful than Quinn believed, they still repay reading.
10-13. "The Broker of Bogota. A Tragedy." (Not illustrated.)
Four manuscripts. Bird Collection, Department of Special Collections, Van Pelt Library.
14. The Broker of Bogota: A Tragedy. In Representative American Plays from 1767 to the Present Day, ed. Arthur Hobson Quinn. 5th ed., rev. New York: Century, 1930. (Not illustrated.)
Singer-Mendenhall Collection, Department of Special Collections, Van Pelt Library.
This copy has the manuscript annotations of Godfrey Frank Singer.
Last update: 22 April 1996.