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The Journal of William Charles Macready, 1832-1851

Edited by J.C. Trewin

Publication Year: 2009

Besides being a great actor and the friend and associate of Dickens, Bulwer Lytton, Browning, and most of the principal figures in the drama and literature of his time, William Charles Mac­ready (1793-1873) was a compulsive diarist. His journal of twenty-one years, during most of which he was at the head of the English stage, is a can­did and absorbing self-revelation.

Published by: Southern Illinois University Press

Copyright Page

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pp. iv


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pp. vii


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pp. viii

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pp. ix

My first debt is, naturally, to Macready's previous and devoted editors: Sir Frederick Pollock, Bart. (Macready's Reminiscences and Selections from his Diaries and Letters, 2 vols., 1875), and William Toynbee (The Diaries of William Charles Macready, 1833-1851, 2 vols., 1912). I have added, after the epilogue, a short list of other works relevant to Macready ...

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pp. xi-xxiii

William Charles Macready, son of an actor and an actress, was born in London on 3 March 1793, at 3 Mary Street, off Euston Road.1 He died in Cheltenham eighty years on 27 April 1873, and was buried in London on 4 May, at Kensal Green. For more than half of his life (1810-1851) he was an actor, and through the last two decades, a period ...

Prologue 1793-1831

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pp. xxv

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I. Macready and Bunn (1832-1836)

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pp. 1-86

During this year Macready, who was thirty-nine on 3 March I832, made only brief daily entries in his journal. In London, where he had lodgings, he was engaged at Drury Lane. His estate, Elm Place, Elstree, was on the borders of Middlesex and Hertfordshire, about thirteen miles from the great 'Patent Theatres' of Drury Lane and Covent Garden. In the spring ...

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II. The Leader (1837-1840)

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pp. 87-166

January 2. Acted Lord Hastings [Jane Shore by Nicholas Rowe] very, very ill indeed, in the worst possible taste and style. I really am ashamed to think of it; the audience applauded, but I deserve some reprobation. I have no right to trifle with any, the least important, character; whatever is good enough to play is good enough to play well, and I could have ...

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III. Drury Lane (1841-1843)

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pp. 167-200

January 3. Forster called, and we walked round the Park together, which I very much enjoyed. Confided to him my notion of engrossing a large share of Drury Lane theatre, which he thought very much of, and which I think may be a great thing if I have energy and constancy to carry it through. January 8 .... Mrs Warner was in the theatre, and I sent to say I ...

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IV. Home and Abroad (1843-1851)

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pp. 201-298

To Liverpool, September 4. Rose at a very early hour; prepared for my departure; kissed my beloved children. Very nearly losing our train through the negligence of the cabman, arrived, and started at the moment from the railway station. A sleepy, dull journey. Reached Birmingham; amused with the passengers there. Landed and set off in ...

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Epilogue (1852-1873)

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pp. 299-304

Macready, after his retirement, lived for twenty-two years. They were often sorrowful. Very soon, in September 1852, Catherine-who was tubercular, as several of her children were-died at Plymouth where he had accompanied her on a visit. She had been very ill; Macready, though he had long feared the end, was overcome. 'The elasticity of my mind ...

Some Books

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pp. 304


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pp. 305-315

E-ISBN-13: 9780809386680
E-ISBN-10: 0809386682
Print-ISBN-13: 9780809329410
Print-ISBN-10: 0809329417

Page Count: 360
Illustrations: 25 b/w halftones
Publication Year: 2009