ELIZABETH FARREN  pp. 318-353

ELIZABETH FARREN

By E. Owens Blackburne

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Born a.d. 1759. Died a.d. 1829

AMONGST the great names which have imparted lustre and dignity to the comic drama, that of Farren stands unrivalled. Nineteen years ago died the aged William Farren, who for upwards of half a century delighted the comedy-loving playgoers of his time. His father was also an actor, and the original Careless, in Sheridan's “School for Scandal.” The manner and delivery of both these comedians are now quoted as precedents. The easy, natural, and well-bred style in which they acted the parts of fine gentlemen has often been commented upon. Sir Peter Teazle found an admirable exponent in William Farren the elder, a part which at present finds its best interpreter in the William Farren of our own day. His performance of this character during the successful revival of “The School for Scandal” at the Vaudeville Theatre, in 1873, will long be remembered as an intellectual treat and a highly-finished piece of artistic comedy. Between this family of Farrens and the subject of the present memoir it is not easy to trace a relationship, if any. But in considering the history of the British stage—so rich in genealogies—histrionic talent, and that in an especial line too, is so often found to be hereditary, that it is difficult to come to the conclusion that some of the greatest male and female comedians, as they have the same name, do not spring from the same common stock.

Illustrious Irishwomen Volume 2

E. Owens Blackburne

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