GEORGE ANNE BELLAMY  pp. 175-243

GEORGE ANNE BELLAMY

By E. Owens Blackburne

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Born 1731. Died 1788

BLUE-EYED Bellamy” plays no unimportant part in the stage-history of the last century. No great actress, in the strict sense of the word, she is chiefly remembered for the romantic circumstances of her birth, and because of the illustrious names which were associated with hers. She is a true type of the gay and frivolous stage beauty—egotistical, heartless, selfish, and intensely vain, in the widest and worst sense of that latter term.

Towards the close of 1784 appeared a work, in five small volumes, entitled “An Apology for the Life of George Anne Bellamy, written by herself.” The style adopted was that of a series of letters to a female friend. It was actually written by Alexander Bicknell, from materials supplied by Mrs. Bellamy; and as she had kept neither notes nor diary, and was obliged to trust entirely to her memory, this accounts for many errors in dates and other details. There is an apparent candour in this “Apology,” and a spurious ingenuousness which at first attracts, but which soon wears off when the motives of the apologist are tested. At the same time, her garrulousness is so amusing, and occasionally so graphic, that it will be best to let her tell the chief events of her history in her own words.

Genius creates, talent polishes and makes use of these creations; and in the days when George Anne Bellamy—a bright though a baleful star—appeared before the footlights, it was indispensable for an actress to possess either or both these qualifications.

Illustrious Irishwomen Volume 2

E. Owens Blackburne

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Book DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511697814