In 1837 Dickens wrote Is She His Wife? Or, Something Singular. A Comic Burletta in One Act for J. P. Harley, who had starred in The Strange Gentleman and The Village Coquettes. It was purchased by John Braham for one hundred pounds, and was produced at the St. James's Theatre on March 6th, 1837. However, Is She His Wife? had little success and only a short run.
Is She His Wife? was then published by James R. Osgood and Co., Boston in 1877 as first performed at the St. James's Theatre. The cast included Harley as Felix Tapkins, and Madame Sala as Mrs. Peter Limbury. The cast also included Mr. Gardner as Peter Limbury. Gardner would later have roles in dramatizations of Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby.