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History of the Philadelphia Stage, Between the Years 1749 and 1855. By Charles Durang. Volume 3. Arranged and illustrated by Thompson Westcott, 1868

History of the Philadelphia Stage, Between the Years 1749 and 1855. By Charles Durang. Volume 3. Arranged and illustrated by Thompson Westcott, 1868
Volume III includes the last 23 chapters (XXXIV to LVI) of the second series, and the first 22 installments (I to XXII) of the third and last series, for a total of 118 pages of text. The chapters belonging to the second series were published in the Dispatch between February 15, 1857 (Vol. IX, No. 42) and August 2, 1857 (Vol. X, No. 14), while those included in the third series came out between July 8, 1860 (Vol. XIII, No. 2) and December 2, 1860 (Vol. XIII, No. 32). In this portion of his history, Durang chronicles the seasons of Philadelphia theaters from 1826-27 to 1831-32. The author presents a cast list for the most important performances, and in some cases even quotes contemporary playbills and reviews. Special events include the Philadelphia debut of actor Charles Kean and the performances of Metamora; or, The Last of the Wampanoags, a tremendously successful play produced at the Arch Street Theatre at the beginning of 1830, and featuring Edwin Forrest in the main part. Opera singer Maria Malibran, who toured the United States from 1825 to 1827 and performed in Philadelphia during these same years, is the focus of a whole chapter discussing her life and career (series III, chapter XIII). A new theater, the Arch Street Theatre, was inaugurated in 1828 and soon became one of the most important institutions in the city along with the Chestnut Street Theatre and the Walnut Street Theatre. A great deal of information is given on the managerial aspects regulating the life of these artistic centers, and on the actors, singers, writers, and other figures who were involved during those years. Many such figures appear in the rich iconographic portion of the volume, which includes portraits of Emma Albertazzi, Geneviève-Aimé-Zoë Prévost, Marie Taglioni, Antonio Guerra, Sarah Egerton, Charles William Macready, Marie Caroline Félix-Miolan, John Liston, Laure Cinti-Damoreau, William Dowton, James Henry Hackett, William Henry West Betty, Margaret Somerville, Madame Céleste, Charles Edward Horn, William Rufus Blake, Henriette Sontag, Giovanna Baccelli, Joseph Grimaldi, Armand Vestris, Lucia Elizabeth Vestris, John Philip Kemble, Giuditta Pasta, Rachel Félix, Margaret Martyr, John Vanbrugh, Edwin Forrest, Luigia Caldarini, Sam Cowell, Dorothea Jordan, Rebecca Davison, Caius Gabriel Cibber, John Pritt Harley, Carlotta Grisi, Stephen Kemble, Sarah Siddons, Thomas Sheridan, James Edward Murdoch, Elizabeth Rainforth, Charles William Macready, Calvin Edson, Thomas Apthorpe Cooper, Jane Stephens, Elizabeth Sharp, Edwin Booth, Charles Kean, Charlotte Cushman, Herr Driesbach, David Garrick, Harriet Waylett, Frances Abington, General Tom Thumb, Samuel Phelps, John Quick, Thomas Hilson, Samuel Reddish, Maria Malibran, Elena D’Angri, John Reeve, George Washington Dixon, Oliver Goldsmith, Julia Fortescue, and many others. The volume also contains engravings of the three main Philadelphia theaters (Chestnut Street Theatre, Walnut Street Theatre, and Arch Street Theatre) and of other international venues such as the Théâtre de l’Académie Royale de Musique (Salle Le Peletier) of Paris, and the Teatro Principal of Havana, Cuba. An autograph letter by Herr Driesbach, the famous lion tamer, is attached to the volume, along with an autographed portrait of actor George Handel Hill.
v. 3 of 6
Personal Name:
Durang, Charles; Westcott, Thompson, 1820-1888
Geographic Subject:
United States -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia
Finding aid:
Call Number:
Ms. Coll. 1316
Thompson Westcott scrapbooks of Charles Durang's history of Philadelphia theater between the years 1749 and 1855