Read e-book online A Spectacle of Suffering: Clara Morris on the American Stage PDF

By Barbara Wallace Grossman

ISBN-10: 0809328828

ISBN-13: 9780809328826

As soon as referred to as "America's maximum actress," well known for the eagerness and tool of her performances, Clara Morris (1847-1925) has been principally forgotten. A Spectacle of soreness: Clara Morris at the American level is the 1st full-length research of the actress's value as a feminist within the overdue 19th and early 20th centuries. Detailing her daunting illnesses and the altering tastes in leisure that resulted in her retirement from the level, Barbara Wallace Grossman explores Morris's dramatic reinvention as an writer. in the course of a moment strong profession, she released 1000s of newspaper and journal articles and 9 books—six works of fiction and 3 memoirs. Grossman attracts at the fifty-four-volume diary that Morris stored from 1868 until eventually 1924, in addition to at the manuscript fragments and notes of journalist George T. MacAdam, who died in 1929 prior to finishing the actress's biography. Grossman presents a dramatic account of Morris's existence and paintings from her bothered early years, via an unsatisfied marriage, morphine habit, and invalidism, to the demanding situations of traveling, the decline of her inventive recognition, and the calls for of the writing profession she pursued so tenaciously. A Spectacle of agony unearths how Morris, even after experiencing blindness and the lack of her domestic, livelihood, and family members, didn't succumb to melancholy and located convenience within the small pleasures of her circumscribed existence. A Spectacle of ache recovers a huge determine in American theatre and guarantees that Morris should be remembered now not easily as an actress yet as a revered author and liked public determine, renowned for her braveness in facing adversity. The e-book, that's better by means of twenty-four illustrations, is the one released biography of Clara Morris. it truly is as a lot a tribute to the ability of the human spirit because it is an efficient technique of exploring American theatre and society within the Gilded Age.   

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Extra resources for A Spectacle of Suffering: Clara Morris on the American Stage

Example text

Morris drew substantially from these recollections when she created Left in Charge’s Selina Parsell Marsh, her mother’s fictional counterpart down to the monogram. As the novel begins, Selina and her young daughter, May, have left Cleveland by train and have come to Quincy, Illinois, in search of relatives. ”13 On the carriage ride from the train station to the farmhouse, Selina grows introspective. May chats with the driver while Selina sits motionless, “with closed eyes and tight-clasped hands,” picturing herself as a “mother-hungry little girl” in a Canadian forest.

After that,” the novel continues, “Selina’s life had been—purgatory! ’” Selina’s response is that she would rather strangle her daughter than release her to him. Morris describes their travail in cadences that are almost biblical: “And so she changed her name often and fled from one city to another, to escape his persecutions. ’” Mother and daughter eventually settle in Cleveland, where Selina finds employment in a boardinghouse. ” She shares her story with the woman, who contacts the postmaster of the area on her behalf.

11 The laconic version of the same event in her diary raises questions about the veracity of her memoirs: “5th Avenue Theatre burned after the matinee. I 12 That Fair Peak of Triumph ran all the way from home to the theatre at the fire alarm—remained until the walls fell and the fire was nearly out. Mr. Daly took it very coolly—Nothing saved! ”12 She would soon need it onstage. Although uninsured and facing an incalculable loss in terms of sets, costumes, props, manuscripts, and records, Daly was undaunted.

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A Spectacle of Suffering: Clara Morris on the American Stage by Barbara Wallace Grossman


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