FARREN

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[John Maddison Morton, playwright, to actor-manager Ben Webster.] Sixteen Autograph Letters Signed to Ben Webster, indicating a close association, with Morton offering scripts, discussing actors and finances, and complaining of neglect.

Author: 
John Maddison Morton (1811-1891), playwright noted for his farces, in particular 'Box and Cox' (1847) [Benjamin Webster [Benjamin Nottingham Webster] (1797-1882), actor-manager who built the Adelphi]
Publication details: 
None dated with year, but one with 1837 postmark. One apiece from 12 and 13 North Crescent, Bedford Square; Red Hill; Chertsey. Seven from Hammersmith, of which: four from Vine Cottage, The Grove; two from 15 Raven's Court park; one from Grove Road.
£500.00

The collection in fair condition, lightly aged and worn. The sixteen letters having a total of 37 pp, 12mo and 16mo. Thirteen letters signed 'J M Morton', one 'J. M. Morton', two 'John M Morton'. A request for 'a couple of orders' is addressed to 'B. Webster Esqre. | Theatre Royal | Haymarket', with postmark of 17 October 1837. A very interesting and spirited correspondence, shedding light on the relationship between Victorian playwright and producer.

[William Farren, leading Georgian actor.] Joint (William & John) Autograph Letters Signed (both 'W. Farren') to George Smith of Yarmouth Theatre & his brother John, encouraging John to work on a play for J. R. Planché at the Olympic Theatre, London.

Author: 
William Farren (1786-1861), leading Georgian actor [James Robinson Planché (1796-1880), dramatist, antiquary and Somerset Herald; Olympic Theatre, London; George and John Smith of Yarmouth]
Publication details: 
30 Brompton Square [London]. 3 September [1838].
£120.00

Farren's entry in the Oxford DNB concludes by describing him as 'a theatrical sophisticate, equally at home in period comedy and modern plays; he was, besides, one of the finest actors of his century'. From around 1821 Farren lived with the actress Mrs Faucit (Harriet Elizabeth Savill, née Diddear, 1789-1857), with whom he had two sons. An excellent item, casting vivid light on the Olympic Theatre of Madame Vestris and J. R. Planché in its late-Georgian heyday.

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