# 22350


[THEATRE] An illustrated souvenir of Wilson Barrett in Australia.

$175.00 AUD

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Reprinted from “The Tatler”. At head of title: Under the direction of Williamson and Musgrove. Melbourne ; Sydney ; Adelaide ; Brisbane : George Robertson & Co., [1897]. Large quarto (300 x 250 mm), original pictorial wrappers (paper split at tail of spine), staple bound, 15 pp, with many sepia tone photographic illustrations by Talma Studios (Melbourne) and W. Downey (London), including numerous full page portraits of Barrett and actress Maud Jeffries in costume for productions of Hamlet, Othello, Claudian, and The Sign of the Cross (one of Barrett’s own plays, later immortalised in celluloid by Cecil B. de Mille in 1932); all of these plays were performed by Barrett’s touring company on Australian stages in 1897-98; a very good copy.

English playwright, manager and actor Wilson Barrett is credited with attracting the largest crowds of English theatregoers ever because of his success with melodrama.

Very scarce. The only copy in Australian collections is held in the State Library of New South Wales (incorrectly dated to around 1910).

Footnote on Maud Jeffries and her Australian connection:

American-born actress Maud Jeffries (1869-1946) was one of the stars of Barrett’s company. In 1904 she married Australian pastoralist James Bunbury Nott, of Gundaroo in the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales. From the ADB: ‘A tall woman with fine features, expressive eyes and long brown hair, Maud Jeffries was acclaimed by critics for her versatility, grace, sincerity, good taste and restraint. Such was her popularity by 1906 that an English company selling mortuary statuary offered photographs of her in the role of Mercia for the embellishment of gravestones. She visited U.S.A. before settling on her husband’s property, Bowylie [now the home of entrepreneur Dick Smith], Gundaroo, New South Wales, where she chose a secluded life, devoted to her garden and her son born in 1908; a daughter died in infancy. She returned to the stage only once in a charity performance of Pygmalion and Galatea in Sydney in August 1910. She died of cancer at Gundaroo on 26 September 1946 and was buried in the Anglican section of Waverley cemetery with Presbyterian forms.’