The Graphic, Review of Stebbins's Cushman Biography, Sept. 28, 1878

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The Graphic, Review of Stebbins's Cushman Biography, Sept. 28, 1878


Actors and Actresses--US American
Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876
Relationships-- Intimate--Same-sex
Stebbins, Emma, 1815-1882
Jewsbury, Geraldine Endsor, 1812-1880
Macready, William Charles


The Graphic contributes a positive review of Stebbins's biography of Charlotte Cushman and values its insights into Cushman's domestic life.


19th Century U.S. Newspapers



The Graphic





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"Time flies so fast that memories of Miss Cushman and her famous personations-her Romeo, Meg Merrilies, Lady Macbeth, -are fading rapidly from the minds of modern playgoers. The more welcome should be the little volume "Charlotte Cushman: Her Letters and Memoirs of Her Life, edited by Her Friend, Emma Stebbins" (Houghton, Osborne, and Co., Boston), to all on either side of the Atlantic who can appreciate a graceful portrait of one not greater as an actress than amiable and admirable in private life. It is a memoir that should interest the members of the profession to whom it is dedicated hardly less than the plain admirers of a gentle life; for in Miss Cushman we have the actress who can advise others as well as act herself, and who, as an almost typical representative of the "natural and spontaneous," rather than the "conventional" school, is at the least an interesting study, even when she is guilty of preferring a Ristori to a Rachel, or characteristically enjoys a Porte St. Martin drama better than the perfect art (with a smack of mannerism, however, au fond) of the Comedie Fran├žaise. Still though a very complete account of her theatrical career from her engagement as "general utility" actress at the Park Theatre, New York, to the (professionally) profitable association with Macready on his "starring" visit to the United States; from the time when she first arrives in London resolved to trust to herself alone, though reduced to her last sovereign when Maddox, of the Princess's, found her in her London lodgings, to those last readings-the most artistic, perhaps, of all her performances which beguiled the closing years of an incurable disorder, it is mainly for the story of her domestic life that the volume will be valued; for the correspondence with clever people, with Miss Jewsbury, Mr. Carlyle, Henry Chorley, &c., for the delightful journals of old times in Rome, still in those days a genuine old-world city, for the pretty pictures of her simple household, her quiet "receptions," her untiring energy to the very end. Memories pleasanter to read we have not encountered for some little time."


"THE READER." Graphic, 28 Sept. 1878. British Library Newspapers,
BA3201426390/BNCN?u=bayreuth&sid=BNCN&xid=a6a500d1. Accessed 10 Mar. 2020.


London, UK

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“The Graphic, Review of Stebbins's Cushman Biography, Sept. 28, 1878,” Archival Gossip Collection, accessed May 28, 2024,

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