Blog Posts: Commentary and Images for Every Episode

Above Left: Edwin Forrest as Rolla in Pizzaro, in a black-and-white photo of the portrait by John B. Neagle (1796-1865). Above Right: Engraving of the Neagle portrait by A.R. Durand, commissioned by F. Wemyss. Pizzaro was a play adapted from …

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Above, a poster advertising the production Ranch 10, a Western drama by Harry Meredith playing at the Arch Street Theatre in Philadelphia during November of 1883. The vividness of the print makes the onstage fire  the selling point of the …

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Above, a hand-colored etching from 1811 by Denis Dighton. It depicts "Mrs. H. Johnson" (Nanette Johnson, née Parker) as 'Zorilda' in the melodrama of Timour the Tartar (Collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London). Alongside it is som…

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Above: "George Frederick Cooke as Richard III", by Thomas Sully (1811). Collection of the Philadelphia Academy of the Fine Arts. Visiting this painting again, it strikes me more than ever how the viewer is actually placed as if they were in the acti…

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Above: William B. Wood in action on the stage in the role of Charles De Moor in Schiller's The Robbers, which was first played on the New Theatre stage in February of 1811. Painting by Thomas Sully.Below: As promised, below is a map of the City of P…

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Above: Abolemique threatens Fatima with execution in Blue Beard (illustration taken from the cover of Hermansson's Blue Beard: A Reader's Guide to the English Tradition.) Below: Title page and illustration for "The Midnight Hour" by Elizabeth …

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Image above: "Nightlife in Philadelphia—an Oyster Barrow in front of the Chestnut Street Theater", by John Lewis Krimmel; Metropolitan Museum of Art Collections.Image below: "Exhibition of Indian Tribal Ceremonies at the Olympic Theater, Phila…

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Above, the portrait of J.B. Ricketts by Gilbert Stuart, in the collection of the National Gallery. Inscription, lower left: "Portrait of Mr Rickarts Horse Equestraine [sic] Friend of the artist  Gilbert Stuart; Inscription, lower right: "Portra…

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(Both the above and below images are shared by courtesy of the Library Company of Philadelphia.)In the image above, the Pennsylvania State House is on the left, the Art Pantheon in the middle, and Oeller's Hotel to the right. This image would have b…

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(Image of Astley's Amphitheatre, above, courtesy of the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London)Phillip Astley, the only known depiction of him: Handbill for Astley's British Riding School, Westminster Bridge: Here is the Thom…

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