The Life of Henry Irving - Vol. 1

The Life of Henry Irving - Vol. 1

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The Life of Henry Irving - Vol. 1

The Life of Henry Irving - Vol. 1

Read FREE!

Excerpt

As this book tells the story of the life of Henry Irving, it follows that, in regard to the author, it is almost entirely impersonal. So that a few words of explanation and acknowledgment may be permitted by way of preface to the actual narrative. In writing this book, I have assumed the position of a third person. That is to say, I have endeavoured to view the subject from an independent point of view. In other words, I have tried to relate the career of the man and the actor as it really was. I have invariably held myself aloof and have allowed the story to tell itself. This attitude could not have been adopted had I not possessed certain qualifications for the work. The first of these qualifications, I take it, is my sympathy for the man and my admiration for the artist. It is no mere figure of speech to say that this book is the result of a labour of love. It is that, at least. Irving was my constant friend for twenty-five years. His friendship never wavered in all those years, and it deepened with time. If I have nothing else to be thankful for, I should ever hold it, as a proud and blessed memory, that, in the closing years of his life, so good and so great a man, and one a score of years or so my elder, could wear me in his heart.

But something more than sympathy and admiration are required for a biographer. This book is not a panegyric. Irving would have hated any such thing, and I possess, if . . .

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