A Strange Eventful History The Dramatic Lives of Ellen

A Strange Eventful History The Dramatic Lives of Ellen Terry Henry Irving and their Remarkable Families [Download] ✤ A Strange Eventful History The Dramatic Lives of Ellen Terry Henry Irving and their Remarkable Families ➺ Michael Holroyd – Buyprobolan50.co.uk An epic yet intimate portrait of two theatrical dynasties which takes us from the Victorian stage to the modern age Ellen Terry was a natural actress who filled the theatre with a magical radiance The Eventful History Kindle Ñ An epic yet intimate portrait of two theatrical dynasties which takes us from the Victorian stage to the modern age Ellen Terry was a natural actress who filled the theatre with a magical radiance The Times called her the “uncrowned ueen of England” but behind her public Strange Eventful History The Dramatic ePUB ´ success lay a darker story The child bride of GF Watts she eloped with a friend of Oscar Wilde’s at the age of twenty A Strange ePUB ´ one and gave birth to two illegitimate children But her greatest partnership was on stage with Henry Irving At the Lyceum Theatre in London the two of them created a grand Cathedral of the Arts Their intimately involved lives exceeded in plot the Shakespearean dramas they performed on stage — and indeed were curiously affected by them They also influenced the life and work of their remarkable children Ellen’s children in particular Strange Eventful History Epub Ü Edy Craig founded a feminist theatre group The Pioneer Players Her brother Edward Gordon Craig the revolutionary stage designer who collaborated with Stanislavski is revealed by this book to be the forgotten man of modernism He had thirteen children by eight women He is perhaps the most extraordinary man Michael Holroyd has ever written about.


10 thoughts on “A Strange Eventful History The Dramatic Lives of Ellen Terry Henry Irving and their Remarkable Families

  1. Lizzie Lizzie says:

    I’ve been reading biographies of these people since I was in college and obsessed by Victorian and Edwardian England Ellen Terry was the most famous and revered actress of her day; Henry Irving was the actor manager of the Lyceum Theatre the great Victorian classical theatre They lived unconventional artistic lives and crossed paths with everybody of their age Bram Stoker was the state manager Terry had a long correspondence with George Bernard Shaw Her son Gordon Craig was involved with Isadora Dun¬can another of my youthful heroines This chatty biography smoothly moves through each of their lives stopping to tell the stories of various people involved with them and with the theater It also follows their children particularly Gordon Craig who became an influential figure in the theater as a designer It had many reminders of AS Byatt's The Children's Book which covers the same period of theater history Not profound but an entertaining gossipy read I particularly liked the scene in which Henry Irving's first wife says to him as they're riding home from a night he triumphed in the theater When are you going to give up this nonsense?? He caught the cabdriver's attention stepped out of the cab and walked away across the park never to see his wife again


  2. Barry Hammond Barry Hammond says:

    Ellen Terry and Henry Irving were icons of the Victorian theatre world She like Lillie Langtry was known as a famous English beauty a pillar of grace and style He with his tacklings of great Shakespeare roles was the man who single handedly dragged the theatrical world into almost respectability though he was also reputed to be the model for Dracula whose author Bram Stoker was his business manager While they were perceived as a great stage couple they were never actually married Both had complex and encyclopedic sex lives and their individual offspring formed a theatrical dynasty which continues even into the modern world with figures like John GielgudMichael Holroyd tackles the fantastically complex family story in this brick of a book 620 pages which while long is never boring It has all the drama and intrigue of a soap opera and the spice and daring of the worst scandals To put it mildly the Terrys and The Irvings were sexually unconventional and made no bones about it though like most Victorians they painted a thin veneer of respectabilty over the detailsHolroyd's research reveals most of the facts and paints both a dramatic portrait and sometimes a wryly humourous one For this reader two of the most intriguing if exasperating figures are the brother and sister duo of Edith Craig and Edward Gordon Craig Ellen Terry's children by EW Godwin She was a costumer writer producer director who was also a pioneering political theatre figure and suffragette an intimate of Radclyffe Hall and Vita Sackville West He was a radical theatrical designer and theorist and also a womanizer irresponsible cad and something of a fraud Although the book is vastly entertaining all the characters are treated with respect insight and historical accuracy It truly is a strange and eventful history A wonderful read BH


  3. Sam Schulman Sam Schulman says:

    Curiously slow to start partly because Holroyd starts with Ellen Terry who is very hard to describe at least hard for him But when he introduces Henry Irving it all comes together because the two must be seen against one another to be understood And I get the weird sense that in the pairing the sunny Ellen Terry an effortless actress from a stage family who falls in and out of love easily who feels deeply but transiently and the dark depressive self made self invented man from the provinces I see the reflection of Holroyd and his wife Margaret Drabble only Holroyd is Ellen Terry and Drabble dark angry bitter than a little insane with her anti Americanism and passion for justice as Henry Irving Her innocence was as mysterious to Irving as were his motiveless black moods to her as Holroyd writes I have a passionate interest in Henry Irving and this book despite its learning and charm and graceful writing is a little distant from him for my taste but again Holroyd and Drabble have the luxury as a married couple of always having lived I think this is right in separate London houses tk


  4. Carl Rollyson Carl Rollyson says:

    This group biography may be Holroyd's finest achievement His subjects are hardly neglected figures but the weaving together of their stories over several generations is new and profound The world of the stage becomes a metaphor for a changing culture in this case the transition from the Victorian to the Edwardian epoch when Ellen Terry became the most beloved actress of her time and Henry Irving the most successful and innovative theater manager in London and abroad Although Holroyd makes deft use of the copious secondary literature on these figures he has done considerable research in primary sources And rather than relying on the conventional endnotes his Outline of Sources serves as an especially valuable introduction to the period and its personalities uite aside from offering an engrossing narrative Holroyd has a point to prove Despite alterations in the law in accepted social and moral habits and in our methods of recording history the configurations of family life today still echo and reflect the concealed lives of a hundred years or ago


  5. Nick Turner Nick Turner says:

    Biography of Victorian theatre stars Henry Irving and Ellen Terry I listened to an abridged audio version read by Eleanor Bron


  6. Laura Laura says:

    From BBC Radio 4 ExtraEleanor Bron reads Michael Holroyd's biography of Victorian stage greats Henry Irving and Ellen Terry


  7. Michael Cayley Michael Cayley says:

    A substantial book on the actors Ellen Terry and Henry Irving and their loves spouses and children Much of the emphasis is on theatrical history so anyone interested in the history of the theatre from the mid 19th to the Second World War will find a lot to relish For others the lives of the key people covered were generally colourful and are well told I really enjoyed it


  8. John Wilson John Wilson says:

    This took me uite a while to read Lots of detail about a group of not particularly pleasant people Family trees would have helped a lot particularly as many of the subjects changed names gender etc


  9. Jenny Brown Jenny Brown says:

    Two and a half stars By the end I was skipping long sectionsThe first part of this book was uite interesting and taught me a lot about Ellen Terry and Henry Irving actors who were among the biggest stars of the late Victorian stage Had the author only written about these two I'd have given the book a much higher rating but far too much of the book describes the life of Terry's children and in particular her son Gordon Craig whose claim to fame must be that he brought cruel exploitative insanely selfish behavior to a level few other people will ever achieve fortunatelyIn theory he was an important stage designer or at least the author wants you to believe that citing his biographers and scholars who write about him through the chapters on this disgusting man But Holroyd's text gives no hint as to how Craig might have earned his reputation as he spends most of his life lazing about doing a bit of this and a bit of that proclaiming to anyone who will listen what a genius he is and living off money he extracts from his famous mother his famous girlfriend Isadora Duncan and the the various other women he seduces impregnates and abandons I lost count after his ninth illegitimate child by his fifth or was it sixth victimAs painted here Craig sounds like a textbook case of Borderline personality which is a dull sounding term for a kind of psychopathic personality type where the person sees the entire world as revolving only around their needs and feels entitled to do anything to anyone as long as he gets what he wants Craig's hostility to the women he seduced exploited and abandoned with children he wouldn't support is typical of that kind of personality But really I have no desire to read about such people nor to glorify them with long biographies Craig's sister Edy and her circle of repellant lesbian friends are similary described at far too great length The description of how they manage Terry's last years when reading through the lines it appears she was suffering from advancing dementia is uite confused The author presents without comment many uotes from letters from Terry in her old age that sound like demented paranoia and demonize her caregivers Having been in the position of caring for an old person with dementia I saw a uite different explanation for the behavior of the caregivers than what we get from the snippets of letters the author presents But that may just be the problem with the whole second half of the book a failure of the author to shape the materials I know that Holroyd was very ill during the time he worked on this book and that may explain why the second half is the way it is as he is usually a very talented though a bit too prolix biographer Whatever the explanation is I can't recommend this book to anyone save those with an intense interest in theater in the late 19th and early 20th century and a tolerance for a very long annoying meandering bios that bring to life characters who would do better left to languish in obscurity


  10. Nick Nick says:

    Ellen Terry and Henry Irving dominated the Victorian stage in ways that are difficult to imagine today in a pre cinema pre Twitter age As disciplined and determined as these two performers were their personal lives were chaotic and devastating to their partners lovers children friends and hangers on A bit of trivia Bram Stoker the author of Dracula devoted his life to making Henry Irving's life possible only to be snubbed cruelly by him near the end a snub he never recovered from and never forgave Where Terry was fleeting emotions and shifting sensibilities the classic evanescent performer Irving was solid solitary and grim Where Terry was never without admirers hangers on and children looked after by a bewildering array of lovers consorts and admirers Irving spent half of his life virtually alone and certainly isolated learning his craft And yet thousands thronged the streets upon his death for a last look at the dour colossus of the stage Holroyd's book is always fascinating but freuently frustrating because he has a hard time not mirroring the chaos of the two principal's lives in the structure of his book And characters come and go at speed each reuiring a paragraph or page of introduction to be placed in the Terry or Irving world only to disappear and never come up again Holroyd was apparently keen to show the lives of Terry and Irving's families and especially their children each of whom struggles to follow in the footsteps of these monstrous people and each of whose lives takes one tragic turn after another As such he sometimes takes the children's own descriptions of what they're doing at face value presumably because the only documentation comes from their own letters and that's a mistake because their own 'takes' on their lives are not defensible Several were mini monsters themselves and what they say about themselves needs to be taken with a huge dose of saltA brilliant chaotic book about how 2 brilliant chaotic families intertwine


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