Maude Adams: An Intimate Portrait

By Phyllis Robbins | Go to book overview

Chapter Seventeen

AS HAS been seen, in 1930 Maude put a great deal of thought and work into preparing the play The Joyous Adventures of Clementine, which seemed to her promising material but which came to nothing. On top of this disappointment, she was sued in the Supreme Court of New York for $200,000 by John D. Williams, stage director, who had worked with her for many years and was supposedly as loyal as all the rest of her associates. He based his claim on an "implied contract" for the production of this play which was never staged, and of another ( The Merchant of Venice) with which he had nothing whatever to do.

On September 1, 1932, Miss Boynton had written to me:

The hearing in the Williams matter is still hanging over her, postponed from August 19th to "after Labor Day," no definite date having been set. She is sure to feel anxious, unsure, and harassed as long as this is pending. . . .

My heart is very heavy at this sequel to Maude's magnificent and heroic work of last season [the tour in The Merchant of Venice] and I wish to make things easier for her in such ways as I can -- perhaps I should say, less difficult and impossible.

The hearing was to hang over her for three years more. When the suit at last was brought, she stood up against the ordeal with spirit and ability. I quote from the newspapers:

She told the court that if any financial contract existed between herself and Mr. Williams it was contingent upon whether the play, The Joyous Adventures of Clementine, was produced with her in it.

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Maude Adams: An Intimate Portrait
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgments v
  • Chapter One 3
  • Chapter Two 21
  • Chapter Three 40
  • Chapter Four 58
  • Chapter Five 75
  • Chapter Six 89
  • Chapter Seven 110
  • Chapter Eight 124
  • Chapter Nine 140
  • Chapter Ten 155
  • Chapter Eleven 165
  • Chapter Twelve 174
  • Chapter Thirteen 186
  • Chapter Fourteen 201
  • Chapter Fifteen 213
  • Chapter Sixteen 232
  • Chapter Seventeen 247
  • Chapter Eighteen 257
  • Chapter Nineteen 263
  • Chapter Twenty 284
  • Appendix 292
  • Index 299
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