Prince of Players: Edwin Booth

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Norton, 1953 - Actors - 401 pages
Book of the Month club selection. Sticker inside back cover for Capital Book Store, Sacramento, California.

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It is hard to find a review on this book so I will summarize some of the quotes by Clifton Fadiman.
"Of the ten illegitimate children born to the old tragedian Julius Brutus Booth, Edwin was the
seventh. The seventh child (particularly if, like Booth, he was born with a caul) is supposed to be lucky. Lucky Booth was, for he died wealthy and famous, the greatest actor of his day. He had enjoyed the homage of his peers, the frantic devotion of women, triumph on two continents. Yet he was unlucky, too, for he inherited much of the instability of his half-mad, dipsomaniac father, and he lived all his life in the shadow of a feeling of guilt.... he was born on a remote Maryland farm whose atmosphere might have been conceived by Edgar Allen Poe. At thirteen young Edwin was guiding his eccentric drunken father from playhouse to playhouse through the coastal cities of the East. At eighteen he was trying his thespian wings in the garish pioneer cities and towns of the West--Hangtown and Jackass Gulch, as well as San Francisco and Sacramento. Then came tours in Australia and Hawaii. He was a drunkard at eighteen, a libertine at twenty, world famous at thirty, bankrupt at forty, rich again within a few years and dead at sixty. He had narrow escapes from assassination, and once he saved another from death--weirdly enough, Robert, the son of Abraham Lincoln." This is an excellent narrative of the Booth family. John Wilkes remarked, " He is Hamlet." I highly recommend for History buffs. 

Contents

Mr Booth 32 Father and Son
26
Seeing the Elephant 53 4 A New Star Rises
79
The Fireside 107 6 The Palace of Night
129
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