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This blog makes liberal use of AB's journals, letters, travel notes, and other sources.

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Friday, 4 April 2014

Queen of her profession

Wednesday, April 4th., Cadogan Square, London.

We lunched with Marie Tempest and Graham Browne in Regent's Park. A charmingly arranged house. Marie is still surprisingly young in looks and gestures; but she talks old - about today, 'modern', 'there's nothing' - etc., etc. I offered her my play "Flora".

Dame Marie Tempest, original name Marie Susan Etherington (1864 —1942, London), English actress, known as “the queen of her profession,” who had a 55-year career as a star of light opera and legitimate comedy. Tempest was educated on the European continent but returned to London to study voice with Manuel Garcia, the tutor of Jenny Lind. She debuted in 1885 as Fiametta in the operetta Boccaccio,but it was the title role in Dorothy (1887), which ran for 931 performances, that established her reputation. In 1890 she appeared in New York City as Kitty Carol in The Red Hussar and continued to tour the United States and Canada in such operettas as The Bohemian Girl, Pirates of Penzance, andThe Fencing Master; during this period she was considered one of the few rivals of Lillian Russell. In 1895 George Edwardes bought out her American bookings so that she could return to London to star in An Artist’s Model, which ran for 400 performances. In 1899 Tempest forsook operettas for straight comedy; in 1900 she created the role of Nell Gwynne in English Nell, followed by Peg Woffington, Becky Sharp, and Polly Eccles in Caste. These and other roles provided the opportunity to combine charm and “roguishness”—a unique quality in which she excelled. In 1908 Somerset Maugham’s Mrs. Dot provided her with her finest role. 

Heard some of Elgar's "Dream of Gerontius" afterwards and I didn't think very highly of it.

Additionally for April 4th., see 'Out of my groove'

Unable to write my journal at all these last few days. All ideas of writing were put out of my head, and so I suffered obscurely from that uncomfortable feeling which a person who lives in a groove has when he is shifted out of his groove.

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