Memoirs of Mrs Siddons
Published in 1827, this two-volume work by the playwright and biographer James Boaden (1762-1839) is a sprightly portrayal of the acclaimed actress Sarah Siddons (1755-1831). Closely collaborating with his subject, Boaden (whose memoir of Dorothy Jordan is also reissued in this series) was able to establish himself as an authoritative biographer, preferred over others for his intellect and wealth of anecdotes from a lifetime spent within the theatrical world. Arguably the greatest tragic actress of her age, Siddons broke new ground in the reactions she provoked in audiences and in the social legitimisation of the English stage. Containing vivid descriptions of performances, this work details the acting style of Siddons and the inner workings of the theatrical community. Volume 1 discusses the idea of biographies of notable women, the history of the theatre and the life and career of Siddons up to her triumphant return to Drury Lane in 1782.