Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Planché, James Robinson

(1796-1880) UK dramatist, author and translator/adaptor of at least 150 plays, Pantomimes and burlesques, many featuring Fairies and other Mythical Creatures; he also translated stories by the Comtesse d'Aulnoy in Countess D'Aulnoy's Fairy Tales (coll trans 1885), and by Charles Perrault in Four-and-Twenty Fairy Tales selected from those of Perrault, etc (anth trans 1858). His most famous single play is The Vampyre, or The Bride of the Isles (1820), an adaptation of Charles Nodier's Le Vampire (1820), itself closely based on John Polidori's The Vampyre: A Tale (1819 chap). His libretto for Carl Maria Weber's Opera Oberon, or The Elf King's Oath (1826), based indirectly on the 13th-century French epic Huon de Bordeaux, was reprinted by Anthony Burgess in Oberon Old and New (anth 1985). Other works of fantasy interest include: Shere Afkun, the First Husband of Mourmahal: A Legend of Hindoostan (1823), a poem; Olympic Devils, or Orpheus and Eurydice (performed 1831; 1836 chap), a play; An Old Fairy Tale Told Anew (1865 chap) illus Richard Doyle; and many of the dramas assembled as The Extravagances of J.R. Planché, 1825-1871 (coll 1879 5 vols). His work and creative methods are briefly but memorably pastiched in The Lyre of Orpheus (1989) by Robertson Davies. [JC]

James Robinson Planché

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This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.