Ellen Terry's Memoirs

Ellen Terry's Memoirs

Ellen Terry's Memoirs

Ellen Terry's Memoirs

Excerpt

In this new edition of Ellen Terry's autobiography, written during 1906 and 1907, and first published in its entirety under the title The Story of My Life in 1908, very few alterations have been made in the original text, beyond some cuts necessitated by the addition of the biographical chapters which complete the narrative. Corrections of slips, and other revisions calculated to increase the value of the book as an authoritative record, have been included in the editorial notes. We felt that if we began tinkering with Ellen Terry's work we might deprive it of its spontaneity, and decided to let well alone. The decision is all the more likely to be approved because people have recently been made aware of Ellen Terry's remarkable literary gifts. Since the publication of her correspondence with Bernard Shaw, revealing her as one of the most fascinating letter-writers that ever lived, and of her "Four Lectures on Shakespeare," permanently establishing her reputation as a great actress who studied character with penetrating insight, her genius for Hashing down her thought on paper in a few vivid words has been widely proclaimed. Her old fame as a great actress and a great personality has been renewed after death by her fame as a writer, and possibly will be kept alive by it.

It may seem strange to those who discerned the fine quality of her autobiography when they first read it years ago that this literary fame should not have, come to her until her letters to Bernard Shaw were published, Perhaps the explanation is that the memoirs of all celebrities who are not professional writers are approached with a certain prejudice. It is considered extremely unlikely that they will have any literary merit, and, such is the, power of preconceived notions, when they possess it is often not Perceived. Critical opinion of the, memoirs of actors or actresses is further biased by an old tradition that the greatest of them . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.