“VERY FEW ACTRESSES—NONE, INDEED, OF OTHER THAN ENGLISH BIRTH—HAVE SO ENDEARED THEMSELVES TO THE ENGLISH THEATRE-GOING PUBLIC”: GENEROUSLY EXTRA-ILLUSTRATED BIOGRAPHY OF MARY ANDERSON, WITH 67 PLATES, PHOTOGRAPHS AND PLAYBILLS AND AN AUTOGRAPH NOTE, HANDSOMELY BOUND
(ANDERSON, Mary) FARRAR, J.M. Mary Anderson. The Story of Her Life and Professional Career. London: David Bogue, 1884. Large quarto, mid-20th century three-quarter crushed brown morocco, elaborately gilt-decorated spine, raised bands, marbled boards and endpapers, top edge gilt. $700.
First edition of this biography of “our Mary,” extra-illustrated with 27 engraved plates, 23 mounted albumen photographs, 17 playbills (one printed on silk) and an autograph note signed by Anderson, handsomely bound.
A native Californian, Mary Anderson enjoyed a successful stage career on both sides of the Atlantic. In New Orleans, “she gave such a triumphant performance… that an enthusiastic crowd of thousands escorted her to the railroad station.” She achieved great stature as a performer of Shakespeare in England, and Sir William Gilbert even wrote a play expressly for her. “Her portrayal of both the noble, womanly, tragic Hermione and the winsome, bright, youthful Perdita” in the The Winter’s Tale “was a tour de force that impressed both fans and critics” in London and New York.“Anderson’s classic beauty, great charm, superb acting ability and rich contralto voice inspired such affection in her American fans that she was always referred to as ‘Our Mary’ despite her long years abroad. Conservative in her choice of vehicles, she lent vivacity to the old-fashioned plays that consistently captivated her audiences” (ANB). This biography of the acclaimed actress was issued with one steel-engraved portrait; this copy has been generously extra-illustrated with 27 engraved plates, 23 mounted albumen photographs, 17 playbills (one printed on silk) and a two-page autograph note signed by Anderson tipped to the leaf preceding the half title. In the note, Anderson requests a visit from the recipient.
Scattered light foxing and offsetting. An about-fine, amply extra-illustrated copy, handsomely bound.