By Professor Philip H Highfill Jr PhD, Professor Kalman A Burnim PhD, Edward A. Langhans
Just like the works already released, those most modern 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 well-known is Susanna Rowson, a novelist, actress, and early woman playwright. even though born right into a British army relations, Rowson usually wrote performs that handled patriotic American topics and spent a lot of her profession 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 persevered a lot tragedy herself, together with a crippling debilitating affliction and the deaths of 5 of her seven youngsters. 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.
Sarah's next new character was the title role in The Countess of Salisbury on 6 March 1784 (first acted by her at Bath on 25 November 1778); the Public Advertiser of 8 March deplored the revival of Hartson's play. " An illness required her to postpone her second benefit, scheduled for 18 March 1784. She was sufficiently recovered to act Isabella on 25 March, for Smith's benefit. Her own benefit finally occurred on 24 April, when she acted Sigismunda and her brother played Tancred in a revival of Thomsons' Tancred and Sigismunda which drew torrents of tears.
Two years later, on 19 March 1777, she acted the role at Birmingham. " Garrick asked about her pregnancy and date of delivery. He directed Bate to get some kind of memorandum signed by her and her husband. Garrick hoped he could direct her fire against his battery of difficult actresses. He requested a list of parts she had played and what she liked best herself. '' Bate replied on 19 August that the child was expected in early December (it was actually born in early November) and suggested that until she was able to appear at Drury Lane Garrick should support her and her family somewhere in the country.
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