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In A Strange Eventful History, one of our greatest living biographers turns his attention to a gruop of history's most influential performers, a remarkable dynasty that presided over the golden age of theater.
Ellen Terry was ther era's most powerful actress. George Bernard Shaw was so besotted that he wrote her letters almost daily, but could not bear to meet her, lest the spell she cast from the stage be broken. Henry Irving was a merchant's clerk who by force of will and wit became one of the greatest actor-managers in the history of the theater. Together, Irving and Terry presided over a powerhouse of the arts in London's Lyceum Theatre and revived English theater as a popular art form.
Exactingly researched and bursting with charismatic life, this epic story follows Terry and Irving and their brilliant but volatile children--among them Terry's son, Edward Gordon Craig, the revolutionary theatrical designer. A Strange Eventful History is more than an account of the great classical age of London theater; it is a potrait of nineteenth-century society on the precipice of great change.
Knighted for his services to literature, Michael Holroyd is the author of acclaimed biographies of George Bernard Shaw, the painter Augustus John, and Lytton Strachey, as well as two memoirs. He is the president of the Royal Society of Literature and the only nonfiction writer to have been awarded the David Cohen British Literature Prize. He lives in London with his wife, the novelist Margaret Drabble.