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 fashionable is Susanna Rowson, a novelist, actress, and early girl playwright. even if born right into a British army relatives, Rowson frequently 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 persisted a lot tragedy herself, together with a crippling debilitating ailment 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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Additional resources for A Biographical Dictionary of Actors, Volume 14, S. Siddons to Thynne: Actresses, Musicians, Dancers, Managers, and Other Stage Personnel in London, 1660-1800
6d. to the Drury Lane Fund, she went to play the summer season at Birmingham under Yates, carrying hopes of a reengagement at Drury Lane for the next season. Soon she received a letter from the prompter Hopkins advising that her services were no longer needed. The rejection threw her into a depression that nearly destroyed her, she wrote, but for the sake of my poor babies I exerted myself to shake off this dispondency, and my endeavours were blessed with success, in spite of the degradation I had suffer'd from being banished Drury Lane as a worthless candidate for fame and fortune.
Her figure must be remarkably fine, when she is happily delivered of a big belly. Her face (if I could judge from where I saw it) is one of the most strikingly beautiful for stage effect that ever I beheld. She will most certainly be of great use to you at all parts on account of the great number of characters she plays, all of which I venture to assert she fills with propriety tho' I have yet seen her in but oneShe is as you have been informed a very good breeches figure, and plays Widow Brady I am informed admirably: I should not wonder from her ease, figure, and manner if she made the proudest of either house tremble in genteel comedy.
Siddons received £20 through a Mr Dinwoody; the Drury Lane account book shows the advance recorded, paid to a Mr Becket by Garrick's order on 16 November 1775. The previous day Garrick had written to urge the Siddonses to come to London as soon as Sarah could safely travel; otherwise her debut might have to be put off until the next season. Garrick wrote that he had no objection to her appearing as Rosalind, except that Mrs King had recently made her debut in that role. Sarah and William arrived in London in mid-December with their two young children.