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 in demand is Susanna Rowson, a novelist, actress, and early lady playwright. even if born right into a British army kinfolk, 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 persevered a lot tragedy herself, together with a crippling debilitating affliction and the deaths of 5 of her seven teenagers. Siddons performed significant roles in either comedy and tragedy, no longer the least of which used to be a functionality as Hamlet.
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Extra 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
That critic also compared her to Ann Crawford, who was a local favorite. In his view, Mrs Siddons "in the gentler parts was superior to anything we may have seen, nor was she much surpassed by Mrs. " Sarah played Belvidera before a brilliant and crowded audience headed by the Lord Lieutenant on 23 June, and this time there were no reservations about her superiority. The Freeman's Journal and the Dublin Evening Post carried the same review: "It is impossible for language to paint, or for words to convey an adequate idea of the unrivalled excellence of Mrs Siddons.
Audiences for years thereafter remained spellbound by the genius shown in Sarah's powerful portrayal of Belvidera. 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.
Anna Seward described Sarah's Rosalind in a letter to Sophia Weston on 20 July 1786: '' the playful scintillation of colloquial wit, which most strongly mark that character, suits not the dignity of the Siddonian form and countenance. " Despite her lack of success as Rosalind, the role in which she made her final appearance of the season on 18 May 1785, it had been a stunning season for Mrs Siddons, who after only three years on the London stage was awarded in The New Rosciad (1785) the chair of Roscius.