Second issue (January, 1899). 8vo, pp. x, 274,  + b/w frontis and 31 plates featuring Terry. In the more modest, but still attractive, Gordon Craig-designed blue illustrated cloth, spine lettered in gilt, boards lettered and decorated in black, with rose pink highlights to upper board. Rubbed and soiled, bruising and wear to extremities, spine baggy. Endpapers tanned and spotted, rear hinge cracked, front starting, but binding holding firm. Foxed, losses to leading margins of pp. 77-80, 267-8. Inscribed, smudgily, in sepia ink by Terry to fifth plate (opp. p.68, ‘Miss Ellen Terry as “Portia”’): “Yrs. sincerely/ Ellen Terry:”, ink splodges to “Yrs” and fore-edge. A robust copy of Hiatt’s amply illustrated account of Terry’s stellar stage career, unusual inscribed.
Though her reprisal of Shakespeare’s breeches role for the Lyceum production in 1879 was not unanimously praised, Terry’s performance pleased the majority of contemporary critics, with William Winter, in particular, eulogising about it. “[T]he essential womanhood of the character was,” he wrote, “for the first time in the modern theatre, adequately interpreted and conveyed.” Terry’s apparent straightening out of Portia/ Bathazar along normative gender lines seemed to please Hiatt too: “it remains true that Ellen Terry abolished for ever the priggish and unfeminine Portia from the theatre” (pp. 141-2, 143).
Author HIATT, Charles; CRAIG, Gordon
Publisher London: George Bell and Sons
Offered by Quair Books