The Heiress (1786 play)

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The Heiress is a comedy play by the British playwright and soldier John Burgoyne. The play debuted at the Drury Lane Theatre on 14 January 1786. It concerns the engagement of Lord Gayville to Miss Alscrip, a fashionable woman he believes to be an heiress. Gayville later discovers that the woman who really stands to inherit the fortune is his true love Miss Clifford.[1] The play was an enormous success, running for 31 performances in its initial season and being revived again the following year.[2] The play was initially anonymous, but Burgoyne was soon widely reported to be the author and he acknowledged this after the play's debut.[3]


  1. ^ Thomson p.121
  2. ^ Adams Papers p.X
  3. ^ Adams Papers p.X


  • The Adams Papers: The Adams Family Correspondence. Volume 7, January 1786 - February 1787. Massachusetts Historical Society, 2005.
  • Thomson, Peter. The Cambridge Introduction to English Theatre, 1660-1900. Cambridge University Press, 2006.

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