By Professor Philip H Highfill Jr PhD, Professor Kalman A Burnim PhD, Edward A. Langhans
Just like the works already released, those most up-to-date volumes of the Biographical Dictionary take care of theatre humans of each ilk, starting from dressers and one-performance actors to trumpeter John Shore (inventor of the tuning fork) and the incomparable Sarah Siddons.Also admired is Susanna Rowson, a novelist, actress, and early lady playwright. even though born right into a British army family members, Rowson usually wrote performs that handled patriotic American topics and spent a lot of her occupation at the American stage.The theatrical jewel of those volumes is the "divine Sarah" Siddons: "She raised the tragedy to the skies," wrote William Hazlitt, and "embodied to our mind's eye the fables of mythology, of the heroic and dignified mortals of elder time." She continued a lot tragedy herself, together with a crippling debilitating disorder and the deaths of 5 of her seven young ones. Siddons performed significant roles in either comedy and tragedy, now not the least of which was once a functionality as Hamlet.
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Extra info for A Biographical Dictionary of Actors, Volume 14, S. Siddons to Thynne: Actresses, Musicians, Dancers, Managers, and Other Stage Personnel in London, 1660-1800
Tom Davies described her appearance and her art about this time: The person of Mrs. Siddons is greatly in her favour; just rising above the middle stature, she looks, walks, and moves like a woman of superior rank. Her countenance is expressive, her eyes so full of information, that the passion is told from her look before she speaks. Her voice, though not so harmonious as Mrs. Cibber's is strong and pleasing; nor is a word lost for want of due articulation. She excels all persons in paying attention to the business of the scene; her eye never wanders from the person she speaks to, or should look at when she is silent.
Among her other close friends were the Rev and Mrs Sedgewick Whalley (he was a well-known Bath dilettante and godfather to Sarah's daughter, Cecilia), and soon she would be more assiduously cultivated by Hester Thrale Piozzi. Before too long she would have the honor of attending their majesties at Windsor. But she suffered a grueling experience despite the honor, for she was kept standing for a long time and fed nothing. Peter Pindar (John Wolcot) criticized the Royal Family for their lack of hospitality in his Ode Upon Ode (1787): Poor MRS.
Upon John Henderson's recommendation Mrs Siddons was engaged at £3 per week at the Orchard Street Theatre in Bath, beginning with the autumn season of 1778. Sarah and her family arrived at Bath in September, and on 24 October 1778 she made her debut before Bath audiences as Lady Townly in The Provok'd Husband. Three nights later, on 27 October, she offered Mrs Candour in The School for Scandal, but she caused little stir in either comedy. " That season at Bath and also at Bristol (where she began to appear on 15 March as the Countess in The Countess of Salisbury) she played a remarkable variety of characters: Mrs Lovemore in The Way to Keep Him, Lady Jane in Know Your Own Mind, Belvidera in Venice Preserv'd, lady Brumpton in The Funeral, the Queen in Hamlet, Portia in The Merchant of Venice, Euphrasia in The Grecian Page 7 Daughter, Millwood in The London Merchant, Rosamond in Henry II, the Queen in The Spanish Fryar, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Imoinda in Oroonoko, Bellario in Philaster, the Princess in The Law of Lombardy, Imogen in Cymbeline, Miss Aubrey in The Fashionable Lover, Queen Elizabeth in Richard III, Emmeline in Edgar and Emmeline, Sigismunda in Tancred and Sigismunda, Lady Randolph in Douglas, Emmeline in the Fatal Falsehood, and the title role in Jane Shore.
A Biographical Dictionary of Actors, Volume 14, S. Siddons to Thynne: Actresses, Musicians, Dancers, Managers, and Other Stage Personnel in London, 1660-1800 by Professor Philip H Highfill Jr PhD, Professor Kalman A Burnim PhD, Edward A. Langhans