The Incomparable Siddons

 
9781150389535: The Incomparable Siddons

This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1909. Excerpt: ... HER HUSBAND AND CHILDREN WHAT of the interior at 14 Gower Street, and, later, at 49 Great Marlborough Street? Mrs. Siddons's existence was at the farthest remove from the masquerade of prank and vagary a citizen imagination associates with la vie dartiste. Nursing her babies, adding up her weekly accounts, eating her favourite roast beef, this Madame Sarah showed no artistic eccentricity in private life. One likes to think of gorgeous Tragedy, sitting by the lamp-lit table, surrounded by her early circle of pretty faces and youthful talk--talk, one gathers from the family letters, that would not have ' strained a Boswell to bursting,' but filled with affectionate amenity and light-heartedness. It is doubtful whether 'the modern student' would feel much interest in Mr. Siddons, were details concerning him thick as leaves in Vallombrosa. They are not. He left fewer traces of himself in written record than the consort of any celebrity of as recent a period as Mrs. Siddons's. Five plain, respectable letters by him are to be found in Whalley's 'Journals and Correspondence,' and four or five, in manuscript, in the Hardwicke Papers, and among the British Museum Sheridan Correspondence. It transpires that he was, not exactly a nonentity, but undervitalised, and bounded by himself. In his favour, it should be said that, however unresistingly he may have slid into the habit of letting his wife support him, he was a decent liver,1 and neither ill-treated her, 1 I have seen an unpublished letter, of 1792, from Mrs. Piozzi to Mrs. Pennington, referring to some scandal about Mr. Siddons, in which Mrs. Siddons, for a time, believed. Taylor's Records of my Life, ii. 85, leads one to imagine that the scandal was a slander. nor gambled away her earnings. He retired from th...

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