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Clara Morris on the American Stage: A Spectacle of Suffering

Grossman, Barbara Wallace

ISBN 10: 0809328828 / ISBN 13: 9780809328826
Published by Southern Illinois University Press, 2009
Used Condition: Very Good + Soft cover
From Black Falcon Books (Wellesley, MA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

First printing, full number line. Dated, inscribed, and signed by the author on the half-title page: "27 April 2009 / To K--, / I appreciate your interest in Clara Morris and hope you find her saga of resilience and tenacity as inspirational as I have. / With best wishes, / Barbara W. Grossman." An entry in the Theater in the Americas series, edited by Robert A. Schanke. Book is unmarked; spine cocked; spine and wraps uncreased. Mylar protected. Bookseller Inventory # 005582

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Clara Morris on the American Stage: A ...

Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press

Publication Date: 2009

Binding: Trade Paperback

Book Condition:Very Good +

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: First Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

Once called "America's greatest actress," renowned for the passion and power of her performances, Clara Morris (1847-1925) has been largely forgotten. A Spectacle of Suffering: Clara Morris on the American Stage is the first full-length study of the actress's importance as a feminist in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Detailing her daunting health problems and the changing tastes in entertainment that led to her retirement from the stage, Barbara Wallace Grossman explores Morris's dramatic reinvention as an author. During a second robust career, she published hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles and nine books—six works of fiction and three memoirs.

Grossman draws on the fifty-four-volume diary that Morris kept from 1868 until 1924, as well as on the manuscript fragments and notes of journalist George T. MacAdam, who died in 1929 before completing the actress's biography. Grossman provides a dramatic account of Morris's life and work from her troubled early years, through an unhappy marriage, morphine addiction, and invalidism, to the challenges of touring, the decline of her artistic reputation, and the demands of the writing career she pursued so tenaciously. A Spectacle of Suffering reveals how Morris, even after experiencing blindness and the loss of her home, livelihood, and family, did not succumb to despair and found comfort in the small pleasures of her circumscribed life.

A Spectacle of Suffering recovers an important figure in American theatre and ensures that Morris will be remembered not simply as an actress but as a respected writer and beloved public figure, admired for her courage in dealing with adversity. The book, which is enhanced by twenty-four illustrations, is the only published biography of Clara Morris. It is as much a tribute to the power of the human spirit as it is an effective means of exploring American theatre and society in the Gilded Age.

 

 

About the Author:

Barbara Wallace Grossman is an associate professor and chair of the drama and dance department at Tufts University. She is the author of Funny Woman: The Life and Times of Fanny Brice.

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