James Robinson Planche was one of the most prolific and successful of nineteenth-century playwrights. In a career spanning fifty years he wrote over one hundred and eighty pieces of all types, from pantomime and farce to melodrama and opera, for production at a wide range of London theatres. This book offers a representative selection of his most popular plays. It includes one melodrama - The Vampire; or The Bride of the Isles (1820), which represents the first treatment of the vampire theme on the English stage; one farce - The Garrick Fever (1839); three 'fairy' extravaganzas - Beauty and the Beast (1841), Fortunio and his Seven Gifted Servants (1843), and The Discreet Princess; or, The Three Glass Distaffs (1855); one 'classical' extravaganza - The Golden Fleece; or, Jason in Colchis and Medea in Corinth (1845); and one revue of events in contemporary London - The Camp at the Olympic (1853). The volume includes a lengthy introduction which sets the plays in the theatrical context of their time, a chronological record of Planche's life, a complete list of his plays, and a bibliography.