The Life of Mrs Jordan
The actress Dorothy Jordan (1761-1816), contemporary of Sarah Siddons, was born in London, one of nine children. Her reputation as the greatest comic actress of her time was secured upon joining Sheridan's company at Drury Lane in 1785. Remembered particularly for cross-dressing roles such as Rosalind in As You Like It and Viola in Twelfth Night, she brought great charm and spontaneity to her interpretations. Her life off-stage was equally colourful, and she was for over twenty years the lover of William, Duke of Clarence, with whom she had ten children. This two-volume biography, first published in 1831, was written by her friend James Boaden (1762-1839), a playwright who later turned to theatrical biography. In it, he relates the extraordinary and poignant story of her life from acclaim to obscurity. Volume 1 covers events up to 1798, including her establishment at Drury Lane and her liaison with Clarence.