Postcard showing a scene from Bad Girl of the Family

Postcard showing a scene from Bad Girl of the Family

The Bad Girl of the Family by Frederick Melville (1877-1938) was produced at the Elephant and Castle Theatre in 1909, followed by a Christmas season at the Aldwych. The hopelessly convoluted plot was typical of Melville's style but provided plenty of opportunities for hissing at the villain (Harry) and nick-of-time rescues for the heroine (Gladys). Bess Moore, the 'bad girl' (played in this postcard by Violet Englefield), has been seduced by Harry Gordon (Mr H Lane Bayliff), her employer's son. She goes to Lord Erskine's with a dress for his daughter, Gladys (Maud Linden). Being on the brink of financial ruin, Lord Erskine is forcing Gladys to marry Harry, although she loves a sailor, Dick Marsh. By means of a heavy veil, Bess takes Gladys' place at the altar, to Harry's fury. On the night Dick arrives home, there is a murder of which he is found guilty but in the nick of time escapes from Dartmoor and rescues his abducted Gladys from Harry's devilish clutches. It is, of course, Harry who is guilty of the murder and he is finally arrested.