two doorways with an elegant woman standing in one and a large tiger head in the other

The Lady, or the Tiger?

by Francis Richard Stockton

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Media Adaptations

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"The Lady, or the Tiger?" was adapted as a three-act operetta on May 7, 1888, in Wallack's Theatre, New York, with Stockton present in the opening-night audience. Another company in London opened the play that same night at the Elephant and Castle Theatre. Neither production lasted long, though the American version was revived for a short time during the 1890s.

"The Lady, or the Tiger?" was adapted for film in 1970 by the Encyclopedia Britannica Educational Corporation. The story was set in the space-age, and a separate 11-minute discussion of the story by Clifton Fadiman was produced at the same time. Both short films are distributed on videotape by Britannica Films.

Bibliography and Further Reading

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Golemba, Henry L., "Frank R. Stockton," in Dictionary of Literary Biography, Vol 74: American Short-Story Writers Before 1880, Gale, 1988, pp. 341-47.

Pattee, Fred Lewis. The Development of the American Short Story: An Historical Survey, Harper & Bros., 1923, pp 296-98.

Quiller-Couch, Sir Arthur. "Mr. Stockton," in Adventures in Criticism, Putnam, 1925, pp 211-15.

Further Reading
Golemba, Henry L., Frank R. Stockton, Twayne, 1981, pp 144-46. Offers useful criticism on "The Lady, or the Tiger?," including sections on its themes and techniques.

Howells, William Dean. "Stockton's Stories," in The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. L1X, No. 351, January, 1887, pp 130-32. Reviews two of Stockton's short story collections, praising the author's accomplishment as a writer of short fiction.

For Further Reference

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Bowen, Edwin W. "The Fiction of Frank R. Stockton." The Sewanee Review XXVIII (summer 1920): 452-62. Bowen examines several of Stockton's major works, drawing general conclusions about the author's style and technique.

"Francis Richard Stockton." Harper's Weekly XLVI (May 3, 1902): 555. Reprinted in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. vol. 47. Edited by Laurie Dimauro. Detroit: Gale, 1993, pp. 310-33. The anonymous critic examines Stockton's unique combination of the exotic and the real to create a distinctive narrative voice.

Griffin, Martin I. J. Frank R. Stockton: A Critical Biography. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1939, pp. 64-68. Griffin provides a general overview of "The Lady or the Tiger?" and examines the philosophical questions raised by the final scene of the story.

Howells, William Dean. "The Novels and Stories of Frank R. Stockton." The Atlantic Monthly LXXXVII (January 1901): 136-38. Howells discusses Stockton's view of life and its influence on his writing.

May, Jill P. "Francis Richard Stockton." In Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 42: American Writers for Children before 1900. Edited by Glenn E. Estes. Detroit: Gale, 1985, pp. 332-38. An overview of Stockton's works for children.

Pforzheimer, Walter L. "The Lady, the Tiger, and the Author." The Colophon I (Autumn 1935): 261-70. The critic offers insight into the publication and reception of Stockton's short story.

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Historical and Social Context