An operetta by the Austro-Hungarian composer Franz Lehár. The librettists, Viktor Léon and Leo Stein, based the story — concerning a rich widow, Hanna Glawari, and her attempt to find a husband — on an 1861 comedy play, L'attaché d'ambassade (The Embassy Attaché) by Henri Meilhac.
In its English adaptation by Basil Hood, with lyrics by Adrian Ross, the operetta became a sensation in London, beginning in June 1907, starring Lily Elsie and Joseph Coyne and featuring Robert Evett and Gabrielle Ray, with costumes by Lucile. It ran for 778 performances in London and toured extensively in Great Britain. The English version opened in October 1907 on Broadway for another very successful run of 416 performances and played in Australia in 1908. Thereafter, it was played frequently in America and throughout the English-speaking world, and is still frequently revived in English.