SIGNED BY LEGENDARY SHAKESPEAREAN ACTRESS ELLEN TERRY, 1907 LETTER FROM HER LAST AMERICAN TOUR
TERRY, Ellen. Letter signed. Montreal, April 9, 1907. Single original letterhead leaf (measures 8-1/2 by 11 inches) in manuscript, signed, with original letterhead envelope addressed in manuscript with canceled stamp, framed (total measures 10 by 12-1/2 inches). $450.
1907 letter signed by Ellen Terry—“the greatest actress in the world” (Sarah Bernhardt)—written from Montreal during Dame Terry’s last American tour playing Lady Cicely in Shaw’s Captain Brassbound’s Conversion, signed by Dame Terry within weeks of secretly marrying her leading man, young American actor James Carew, framed with the accompanying postmarked envelope.
“Sarah Bernhardt called Ellen Terry ‘the greatest actress in the world” (New York Times). The year before the date of this letter, signed by Dame Terry, “the rarest talents in the theatre gathered in London’s Drury Lane to honor Terry in her 50th year onstage… For Terry, the day’s best gift was the knowledge that she still had a role to play at night… the talkative Lady Cicely in George Bernard Shaw’s comedy, Captain Brassbound’s Conversion.” Virginia Woolf wrote of Terry’s performance in the play: “She filled the stage and all the other actors were put out, as electric lights are put out in the sun” (Auerbach, 3, 16). In the 1907 of Brassbound, her last American tour, “From late January to early May 1907. Ellen Terry visited 15 cities (including Toronto and Montreal)” (Shaw, Theatrics, 74). Only weeks before this April 9, 1907 letter from Montreal during that tour, boldly signed by Terry, she married her young leading man, American James Carew, a marriage that lasted two years. At her death two decades later, Terry was eulogized as “the reigning queen of England’s stage” (New York Times).
Written in an unidentified manuscript hand on the letterhead of Montreal’s Corona Hotel, signed by Dame Terry, the letter reads: “April 9, 1907. Dear Mr. Isaacs I am sorry I cannot accept your invitation for to-day as I have an engagement. I also have an engagement for Friday, but I will try and come in for a moment that day as I would much like to see the Papoose christened. Believe me. Yours faithfully Ellen Terry.” Accompanying the letter in the same frame is a letterhead envelope of the Corona Hotel, with a canceled 2-cent stamp postmarked “Apr 9 CAN.” The envelope is addressed in the same unknown hand: “J.B. Isaac, Savoy Hotel, Montreal.”
Signature bold and clean, lightest soiling so edges of letter. About-fine condition.