Manchester: Committee of the Manchester Athenaeum, 1852.
Unbound. Broadside printed in black and red. 10¼" x 21½". A few old roughly horizontal folds, small tear at the edge of one fold, faint offsetting on verso from an old mat, but a very nice, near fine example. A broadside program for a performance of a play by Bulwer-Lytton written in 1851, and performed to benefit the Literary Guild, a society for struggling authors. The performance of the Bulwer-Lytton play was best remembered for its cast, which included Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, and fellow writers Peter Cunningham and Douglas Jerrold, *Punch* editor Mark Lemon, and artists Augustus Egg and John Tenniel. Dickens and Collins met for the first time during the opening night performance, which was attended by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
Performances of the plays were repeated on several additional occasions over the course of the following year for the charity, this performance among them. The performances were advertised with broadsides that follow similar formats, but each is rare. *OCLC* locates a single, similar example each for the Derby and Sheffield performances, two for Liverpool, and two for Newcastle, but no copies for the Manchester performance. Further searching appears to locate copies of the Manchester broadside at both the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Free Library of Philadelphia. Rare.