A sensible bit of paper

A sensible bit of paper

9th September 2021

‘Without a play-bill’, stated The Tatler in September 1830, ‘no true play-goer can be comfortable.  If the performers are new to him, he cannot dispense with knowing who they are: if old, there are the names of the characters to learn, and the relationships of the dramatis personæ: and if he is acquainted with all […]

One of 30 copies for the Queen

One of 30 copies for the Queen

3rd September 2021

This book (a first edition, privately printed on the Royal estate at Windsor) describes itself as ‘The gift of the Queen, to her beloved daughters, Charlotte Aug: Matilda.  Augusta Sophia.  Elizabeth.  Mary.  And Sophia.  And with Her Majesty’s permission dedicated to their Royal Highnesses by the Translator Ellis Cornelia Knight’ (p. [3]).  Cornelia Knight (1757–1837)—novelist, poet, […]

A female Romeo

A female Romeo

19th August 2021

One of the items in my recent Theatre list is this playbill, which advertises an important performance of Romeo and Juliet in 1832. If you look closely, you will see that the role of Romeo, ‘for this night only’, was taken by Ellen Tree (1805–1880; Kean as she subsequently became, on her marriage to the […]

The Cambridge Greek Play

The Cambridge Greek Play

12th August 2021

Yesterday I published my annual summer Theatre list, and I thought I would share here details of one of the items featured. It is a series of etchings published to commemorate the first Cambridge Greek Play, from 1883. ‘The tradition of performing a Greek play in Cambridge goes back to 1882, when the very first […]

Buckinghamshire interest

Buckinghamshire interest

28th July 2021

I was born and bred in Buckinghamshire (tomorrow in fact will be Buckinghamshire Day) and my family, on my mother’s side, has roots in the county going back well into the eighteenth century, if not earlier. So, as one might imagine, I have an interest in books relating to the county. I have written before […]

Illustrations of the Drama

Illustrations of the Drama

22nd July 2021

As I wrote last week, I am currently cataloguing new material for a Theatre list, which will go out next month. I love lithography, and so was particularly interested in researching this, from 1823: It’s an apparently unrecorded publication: four fine large hand-coloured lithograph portraits of four leading performers of the day, each accompanied by […]