The Bishop of Broadway: the Life & Work of David Belasco

The Bishop of Broadway: the Life & Work of David Belasco

The Bishop of Broadway: the Life & Work of David Belasco

The Bishop of Broadway: the Life & Work of David Belasco

Excerpt

THERE WAS A TRADITION in the Belasco family that Reina Martin Belasco was the first woman to cross the Isthmus of Panama in the mid-nineteenth century migration to California. Like so many other "traditions" adjunctive to the "Belasco myth," this legend had no basis in fact. Records show that courageous women, both English and American, had made the arduous trek before her as early as 1849. But travel had not improved perceptibly in the intervening years, and the fact of her crossing the Isthmus at all, under the difficult conditions encountered in 1852-53, is tribute to her hardihood, faith in her husband and confidence in their future. According to the legend, Humphrey Abraham Belasco was "the leading harlequin of the London stage," artistically successful in his craft but little rewarded financially. Recently married to Reina . . .

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