Martin, Helena Savill Faucit ("Lady Martin")

19th century English actress, performed with Macready & Irving, quotes Lord Byron

Price: $25.00

Description:
(“Lady Martin”, 1817-1898) English actress, daughter of actors John Saville Faucit and Harriet Elizabeth Savill. She was trained for the stage by her step-uncle and debuted as Juliet at a small theater in Richmond in 1833. Her 1st professional appearance was in 1836 at Covent Garden as Julia in James Sheridan Knowles's The Hunchback. Her debut, a spectacular success, placed her at once among the leading actresses in London, helping fill the void left by the retirement of Fanny Kemble in 1834. Her success in The Hunchback was followed by turns as Belvidera in Thomas Otway's Venice Preserv'd, and as Margaret in Joanna Baillie's The Separation. Already in that first season, she was signed to a three-year contract at Covent Garden. William Charles Macready joined the Covent Garden company in the middle of 1836. In 1837, Faucit played numerous Shakespearean roles, among them Juliet, Imogen (Cymbeline), Hermione (The Winter's Tale), and Beatrice (Much Ado About Nothing), alongside both Macready and the soon-to-retire Charles Kemble. Her non-Shakespearean roles during the 3 years at Covent Garden included the female leads in Lytton's Duchess de la Vallikre, Lady of Lyons, Richelieu, The Sea Captain, and Money, in Robert Browning's Strafford, and in Knowles's Woman's Wit. She followed Macready to the Haymarket Theatre in 1840; in December of that year, however, she suffered an attack of a recurrent lung ailment. She returned to the Haymarket in 1841 in Zouch Troughton's Nina Sforza and Lytton's Money. She joined the Drury Lane company under Macready early in 1842 where she played Lady Macbeth, Constance in King John, Desdemona, and Imogen, and took part in the premiere of John Westland Marston's Patrician's Daughter (1842) and Browning's Blot on the Scutcheon (1843). Macready considered her "beyond all compare" the best English actress of the period and when he left for America in 1843, she emerged as an even greater celebrity. In the mid-1840s she toured in Scotland & Ireland, her most celebrated roles as Pauline in Lady of Lyons at the Theatre Royal, Edinburgh, Antigone at Dublin, and various Shakespearean roles, including a revamped and now-successful Lady Macbeth. Acting with Macready in Paris in 1845, she received so much applause that Macready was jealous, and the two did not act together again. Faucit occasionally returned to London, but her main activity for the remainder of her career was touring, especially in Manchester and Sheffield, where her brother owned a theater. In 1846 she returned to Dublin to perform in Euripides' Iphigenia at Aulis, which proved as popular as her Antigone of the previous year. In October 1846 she played Juliet to the Romeo of Gustavus Brooke at Dublin. In 1850, she acted in the title role of Iolanthe in Theodore Martin's adaptation of King René's Daughter. The last time she assayed the role was in 1876 at the Lyceum Theatre, London, with Henry Irving's company with Irving as Count Tristan. In 1851 she married Theodore Martin, official biographer of Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg & Gotha, who was later knighted, making her Lady Martin. She continued to act occasionally for charity. One of her last appearances was as Beatrice, on the opening of the Shakespeare Memorial at Stratford-on-Avon in 1879. In 1881 there appeared in “Blackwood's Magazine” the first of her Letters on Some of Shakespeares Heroines, published in book form as On Some of Shakespeare's Female Characters (1885). AQS “Helena Faucit Martin”, on 7 x 4 ˝ red, black & gilt crested letterhead, np, November 10 1892, quotation from Byron’s Childe Harold: “To be noble, we’ll be good/I live not in myself, but I become/portion of that around me.” Childe Harold's Pilgrimage is a lengthy narrative poem in 4 parts written by Lord Byron, published between 1812 & 1818. The poem describes the travels and reflections of a world-weary young man who, disillusioned with a life of pleasure and revelry, looks for distraction in foreign lands. In a wider sense, it expresses the melancholy and disillusionment of a generation weary of the wars of the post-Revolutionary and Napoleonic eras.

Condition: Very good
Type:AQS






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