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Download PDF by Shearer West, Mark Leonard, Robyn Asleson, Shelley Bennett: A Passion For Performance: Sarah Siddons and Her

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By Shearer West, Mark Leonard, Robyn Asleson, Shelley Bennett

ISBN-10: 0892365579

ISBN-13: 9780892365579

Popular for her majestic attractiveness and impassioned performances, the English actress Sarah Siddons (1755-1831) revolutionized the aesthetics of eighteenth-century theater whereas inventing a posh public personality to advertise her reputation. Her aptitude for self-presentation was once matched by means of the showmanship of the numerous artists who portrayed her. the following 3 vigorous essays--by Robyn Asleson, Shelley Bennett, Mark Leonard, and Shearer West--explore Siddons's lifestyles and occupation, in addition to her relationships with a few artists. extraordinary between them was once Sir Joshua Reynolds, whose masterpiece Sarah Siddons because the Tragic Muse grew to become an icon of this nice actress on the height of her occupation. This lavish quantity additionally brings jointly fifty-five different pictures of Siddons together with works by way of Thomas Gainsborough, George Romney, Thomas Lawrence, and Gilbert Stuart.

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Anne Crawford (Dublin: R. Milliken, 1803). 65. , Piovjana; or, Recollections of the Late Mrs. Piozd (London: E. Moxon, 1833), 85-86. For Siddons's sense of humor, see Campbell, Siddons, 2= IO7; and Manvell, Siddons, 133- For criticisms of her comic acting, see Boaden, Memoirs of Siddons, 2: 168; and entry of 29 July 1789 in Fanny Burney, Diary and Letters of Madame dArblay, l^S—lS^O, 6 vols. ), 4: 303. 66. , Beauties of Siddons to those on Mrs. Jordan's comic acting in An Essay on the Preeminence of Comic Genius with Observations on the Several Characters Mrs.

35 Her interest in literary criticism is attested to not only by her letters—which are littered with quotations from Shakespeare—but also by the selection of extracts from Milton's Paradise Lost that she published after her retirement. These qualities and activities were certainly recognized, but they were not always emphasized. Despite the evidence of her mental abilities, Siddons's biographer Thomas Campbell encapsulated her as an "endearing domestic character"; the artist Benjamin Robert Haydon provided a diary obituary that summed her up as a "good, & pious, and an affectionate Mother"; and Boaden provided the most astonishing epitaph of all when he wrote of her as "indefatigable in her domestic concerns .

158. , Reminiscences of Siddons, 3[William Russell], The Tragic Muse: A Poem Addressed to Mrs. Siddons (London: G. Kearsley, 1783), Ig. " For her effect on men, see, for instance, the letter from Maria Siddons to Sally Bird, 8 April 1798, referring to Siddons's performance of Mrs. Haller in The Stranger: "even men sob aloud" (Knapp, Artist's Love Story, 33). Anna Seward to the Rev. Dr. , The Swan ofLichfield: A Selection 3» 51. 52. 53. 54- 55- 56. 57. 58. 59- 60. A Passion for Performance from the Correspondence of Anna Seward (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1936), 68-69.

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A Passion For Performance: Sarah Siddons and Her Portraitists by Shearer West, Mark Leonard, Robyn Asleson, Shelley Bennett


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