These Were Actors: A Story of the Chapmans and the Drakes

These Were Actors: A Story of the Chapmans and the Drakes

These Were Actors: A Story of the Chapmans and the Drakes

These Were Actors: A Story of the Chapmans and the Drakes

Excerpt

All the Chapmans I have known claimed Thomas Chapman to be their direct paternal ancestor, but all that has come down from him through five generations is an ancient and handsome piece of costume jewelry. It is history that he had been a soldier, that he was the original Beggar in The Beggars Opera, the Witwould in The Way of the World at the opening of The Covent Garden Theatre in 1732, the leading man in the first engagement of David Garrick at that theater, and the finest Touchstone of his time. He was also the leading player and manager of the Theatre Royal in Richmond when that town was in its heyday as a resort. Princess Caroline was a patron and her name has come down to one of the heroines of our story. That is all that is recorded about him; consequently, many of the incidents of his life in this book are fictional, but in keeping with the color of his time.

The factual sources of this book were largely Some Account of the English Stage, by John Genest; The Wandering Patentee, by Tait Wilkinson; A Record of the New York Stage, by Joseph Norton Ireland; A History of the American Theatre, by William Dunlap; The Theatrical Apprenticeship and Anecdotical Recollections of Sol Smith, by Sol Smith; Dramatic Life As I Found It, by N. M. Ludlow; History of the American Stage, by T. Allston Brown; Annals of the New York Stage, by C. D. Odell; Strolling Players, by Sybil Marion Rosenfeld . . .

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