THE ACTRESS by Lillian de la Torre
Kirkus Star


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. . . who held audiences in her thrall for thirty years at Drury Lane and Convent Garden, Sarah Kemble is a spirited and magnetic figure in Lillian de la Torre's lively biography. As Juliet to William Siddons' Romeo in her grandfather's troupe of strolling players, Sarah could speak the romantic passages with real emotion, though she was not as old as Shakespeare's heroine. Here is a portrait of 18th century England, when travelling players might not charge admission to act, though they could put on plays after concerts for which they were paid, in which a scintillating theatrical figure is dominant. The dramatic story of Sarah's marriage to William, despite family objections, and her slow and determined conquest of the theatre is interspersed with quotations from Shakespeare --which gives it added source value for students now encountering his plays in high school. Sarah fares very well indeed at the gifted hands of Lillian de la Torre, who gave us The White Rose of Stuart.

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 1957
Publisher: Nelson