Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for April, 2015

Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

George Keppel 6th Earl of Albemarle
13 June 1799 – 21 February 1891

PastedGraphic-2015-04-30-06-00.png

George Keppel

General George Keppel 6th Earl of Albemarle was born in Marylebone, he was the third and second surviving son of William Keppel, 4th Earl of Albemarle, and his first wife Elizabeth, fourth daughter of Edward Southwell, 20th Baron de Clifford. In 1851, he succeeded his older brother Augustus as earl. His lifelong friend was Sir Robert Adair. Keppel spent his childhood at his father’s residence Elden Hall and was educated at Westminster School. In 1815, he entered the British Army as an ensign.

Keppel fought with the 14th Regiment of Foot in the Battle of Waterloo. He was transferred as lieutenant to the 20th Regiment of Foot in 1820 and as captain to the 62nd (Wiltshire) Regiment of Foot in 1825. Already two years later, he became major and lieutenant-colonel in 1841. Keppel was promoted to Colonel in 1854 and to Major-General in 1858. He was made Lieutenant-General in 1866 and finally General in 1874. considered political appointment.

Keppel represented East Norfolk in the British House of Commons from 1832 until three years later. He stood unsuccessfully for King’s Lynn in 1837 and for Lymington in 1841, however sat for the latter eventually from 1847 to 1849, before succeeding his brother in the Earldom.

From 1820, Keppel was Equerry to Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex. In 1838, he was appointed High Sheriff of Leitrim. He served as Groom-in-Waiting between the latter year and 1841 and was Private Secretary to the Prime Minister Lord John Russell between 1846 and the next year. He was a Deputy Lieutenant of Norfolk from 1859 and was Fellow of the Geological Society (FGS) as well as the Society of Antiquaries of London (FSA).

On 4 August 1831, he married Susan Trotter, daughter of Sir Coutts Trotter, 1st Baronet in Willesden. They had four daughters and one son. Keppel died, aged 91 in Portman Square in London and was buried in Quidenham. He was succeeded in his titles by his only son William, a great-great-grandfather of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

His works:

  • Personal Narrative of a Journey from India to England (1827)
  • Personal Narrative of Travels in Babylonia, Assyria, Media and Scythia (1827)
  • Narrative of a Journey across the Balcan (1831)
  • Memoirs of the Marquess of Rockingham and his Contemporaries (1852)
  • Fifty Years of My Life (1876)
Advertisements

Read Full Post »

A new Regency Anthology

Beaux, Ballrooms, and Battles anthology, celebrating the 200th anniversary of the victory at Waterloo in story.

BBBcorrect-2015-04-30-05-00.jpg

Looks good, huh? The talented writer and digital artist, Aileen Fish created this.

It will be available digitally for $.99 and then after a short period of time sell for the regular price of $4.99

The Trade Paperback version will sell for $12.99

Click on the Amazon Link—>Amazon US

Wellington1Grey-2015-04-30-05-00.jpg

My story in the anthology is entitled: Not a Close Run Thing at All, which of course is a play on the famous misquote attributed to Arthur Wellesley, “a damn close-run thing” which really was “It has been a damned nice thing — the nearest run thing you ever saw in your life.”

Samantha, Lady Worcester had thought love was over for her, much like the war should have been. The Bastille had fallen shortly after she had been born. Her entire life the French and their Revolution had affected her and all whom she knew. Even to having determined who she married, though her husband now had been dead and buried these eight years.

Yet now Robert Barnes, a major-general in command of one of Wellington’s brigades, had appeared before her, years since he had been forgotten and dismissed. The man she had once loved, but because he had only been a captain with no fortune, her father had shown him the door.

With a battle at hand, she could not let down the defenses that surrounded her heart. Could she?

As her father’s hostess, she had travelled with him to Brussels where he served with the British delegation. Duty had taken her that night to the Duchess of Richmond’s ball. The last man she ever expected to see was Robert, who as a young captain of few prospects, had offered for her, only to be turned out by her father so that she could make an alliance with a much older, and better positioned (wealthy), aristocrat.Now, their forces were sure to engage Napoleon and the resurgent Grande Armée. Meeting Robert again just before he was to be pulled into such a horrific maelstrom surely was Fate’s cruelest trick ever. A fate her heart could not possibly withstand.

Here are the first few paragraphs to entice you:

Chapter One
“Come father, we shall be dreadfully late. Already the other guests of the inn have all departed for the ball.” Samantha distinctly heard him grunt. Her father did not like balls.
“You will not fault me if I stay to the card room with the other old gentlemen. We always have much to discuss,” he said. Her father served with the delegation led by Sir Charles Stuart.
In a moment he would complain about the pains caused by his gout. Always handy when social obligations were required and never present when he had his ‘important’ work to do.
“Father, are you sure that there is going to be a battle? I just can’t believe that Her Grace of Richmond is hosting a ball when the soldiers will be going off to fight.” Lady Worcester, who had been once just The Honourable Samantha Villiers, asked of her father, the second Viscount Haddington.
She had married the Earl of Worcester twelve years before, a man who had died before the Peace of Amiens had been shattered. They had no children, and as there were only distant heirs, the property went to those relations whilst the title became extinct. Samantha was the last Lady Worcester.
“The fighting is close at hand, but I have every confidence in the Duke of Wellington. Marvellous man. The French will be quite surprised when he takes this army and invades their lands,” her father said. “I am afraid I shall not be able to stand up and offer one dance with you, my good girl. The pains in my foot are troubling me.”
As Samantha had predicted.
That was always the excuse. Samantha was assured that her father had not once stood up to dance since her mother had died.
Over the many years she had had to study her father, for she had taken to being the hostess of his household upon the death of her husband, her mother having died before her own marriage, she had noted that her father was more impressed by title, position, and wealth, than by capabilities.
However, her own study of Wellesley, now the Duke, paralleled her father’s assessment at least when it came to Wellington’s successes as a commander. Yet the Duke had never faced Napoleon. Until only the most recent years, the Emperor of France had seldom lost any engagement. The Duke of Wellington had faced Napoleon’s lieutenants, and captains, but never the very best commanders of Le Grande Armée.
“It is understandable, Father, with your foot being troublesome, that you wish to proceed to the card room. You should enjoy this night. It will all be over too soon, and as you say, the engagement is imminent. Many here this evening we may never know again.” More than twenty years of war and she had known the loss of several military men.
Her father nodded. He had trained her to recognize the truth regarding these years of war. It was why he had been so against a liaison with Robert Barnes when she had first come out. Her other ardent suitor during her Season in ’03.
A time long ago.
Samantha and the Viscount were in the foyer of their lodgings. All the best places had been taken by those of great rank and wealth. This was a small inn that six other families shared.
She and her father were ready to leave for the ball, their hired carriage at the front of the building even then. Samantha had looked from the window and seen their coachman, Phillipe, waiting patiently.
He was paid for from her Worcester monies. The two years that Samantha had not lived with her father whilst married, had resulted in his losing near all the Haddington monies. He had retained very little of the capital, none of grandfather’s lands, and survived on monies advanced by the government to see to his office as well as what monies Lady Worcester was able to provide to the expenses of his household. Expenses that she managed with prudence.
Shaking her head and exiling the thought away, she pondered on a ball in a coach house. How novel to attend.
She had called on the Duchess several times, as they knew each other socially. Samantha well knew many of the women that had formed society here in Brussels. Her father’s stature with the delegation caused her to be a hostess to much smaller events than the ball.
With the assured defeat of Napoleon the war would end and her father’s service would be over. So also would the service of that other man who had asked for her before.
Robert had gone back to fight once war broke out again when the Peace of Amiens fell apart. She had since lost track of him.
Samantha had forced herself to lose track of him.

Read Full Post »

Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Annabella Milbanke
17 May 1792 – 16 May 1860

PastedGraphic3-2015-04-29-06-00.png

Annabella Milbanke

Annabella Milbanke was the wife of the poet Lord Byron.

A highly educated and strictly religious woman, she seemed an unlikely match for the amoral and agnostic poet, and their marriage soon ended in acrimony. Lady Byron’s reminiscences, published after her death by Harriet Beecher Stowe, revealed her husband’s incest with his half-sister, a scandal that had forced him into permanent exile.

Their daughter Ada worked as a mathematician with Charles Babbage, precursor of computer science. Lady Byron had felt that an education in mathematics and logic would counteract any possible inherited tendency towards Lord Byron’s insanity and romantic excess.

Her names were unusually complex. She was born Anne Isabella Milbanke, the only child of Sir Ralph Milbanke, 6th Baronet, and his wife the Hon. Judith Milbanke, sister of Thomas Noel, Viscount Wentworth. When Lord Wentworth died, a few months after Anne’s marriage to Lord Byron, Judith and her cousin Lord Scarsdale jointly inherited his estate. The family subsequently took the surname Noel over Milbanke.

Lord Wentworth had been both a viscount and a baron. Upon his death the viscountcy became extinct, and the barony fell into abeyance between Judith and Lord Scarsdale. After their deaths, the barony passed to Anne, and she became Baroness Wentworth in her own right; however she did not use the title. She signed her letters “A. I. Noel Byron” and her will as “Baroness Noel-Byron”. The world knew her as “Lady Byron”, and her friends called her by her nickname “Annabella”.

She was a gifted child. To cultivate her obvious intelligence, her parents hired as tutor a former Cambridge University professor by the name of William Frend. Under his direction, Annabella’s education proceeded much like that of a Cambridge student; her studies involved classical literature, philosophy, science and mathematics, in which she particularly delighted. This fascination led her husband to nickname her his “princess of parallelograms”.

Anne Isabella developed into a stiff, religious woman with strict morals. She was aware of her strong intellect and was not ashamed to demonstrate it in her social realm. Often described as cold and prim, she seemed an unlikely match for the man who would become her ultimate obsession, the dramatically dark and “morally fractured” poet Lord Byron. Their first meeting occurred in March 1812. She later said to her mother that though she would not venture to introduce herself to Byron, she would certainly accept his introduction if it were offered.

Although Byron’s popularity was soaring following the success of his work Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, Annabella continually rejected his attentions. Spurned, Byron committed himself to the pursuit of her and in October 1812, he proposed marriage. In response, Annabella wrote a summary of his character and three days later refused him. However, they were plagued with a persistent interest in each other.

In August 1813, she contacted Byron in writing for the first time. The letters continued into the next year, some offering reassurance and support during times when public opinion of him was not favorable, others describing the “imperfect attachment” she felt for him. During this time, he accepted an invitation from Sir Ralph Milbanke to visit Seaham Hall, the family home in County Durham.

When Lord Byron proposed a second time to Miss Milbanke in September 1814, she accepted. The couple were married privately, and by special licence, at Seaham Hall in County Durham on 2 January 1815 (the officiating clergyman was her illegitimate cousin, the Rev. Thomas Noel of Kirkby Mallory, natural son of her uncle, Viscount Wentworth.) The couple lived at Piccadilly Terrace in London.

Byron was then in extreme financial distress. He rejected payments offered for his written works, as he believed the sums were insufficient. He was having difficulty selling his estates at Newstead Abbey and Rochdale to clear his debt. During the summer of 1815, he began to unleash his anger and hostility on his wife. His moods were dark and he began to drink heavily. In a letter to his half-sister, Augusta Leigh, he stated his suspicions that his wife had broken the lock on his desk and searched it. Later in the year he began an affair with Susan Boyce, a London chorus girl.

Lady Byron became increasingly upset. In the late stages of pregnancy, she feared Byron might be going mad. In November 1815, she wrote to Leigh and told her of Byron’s moods and behavior. In answer to her sister-in-law’s letter, Leigh traveled to the Byrons’ home to assist. Upon her arrival, she became the subject of Byron’s wrath and believed him to be temporarily insane. On 10 December, Lady Byron gave birth to the couple’s only child, a daughter whom they named Ada. Byron’s despair seemed to increase.

In January 1816, as the Byrons passed their first anniversary, Lord Byron suggested they sell the house at Piccadilly Terrace. He recommended that Lady Byron take Ada to her parents’ home and stay there temporarily until he settled their finances. In disbelief, Annabella sought medical advice as she had become convinced her husband had gone mad. She invited a physician to their home to assess Byron. Byron was unaware of the true purpose for the visit. The doctor recommended she do as Byron requested and move to her parents’ estate.

Lady Byron began a detailed documentation of Byron’s behavior, moods, and speech. She contacted his solicitor and friend, John Hanson, and told him her concerns that Byron would take his life. She also provided Hanson with a pamphlet on hydrocephalus, accompanied by notes that suggested Byron could be suffering from this particular affliction. Following this conversation, Lady Byron took Ada and travelled to her parents’ residence at Kirkby Mallory in Leicestershire. She would not see Byron again.

During her first month at Kirkby Mallory, Lady Byron wrote to Byron affectionately, addressing him as “dearest Duck”. Her mother wrote to him and invited him to come to their home. However, her concern for Lady Byron soon became paramount, and her parents sought legal counsel. Their attorney recommended a legal separation and sent a letter proposing the separation to Byron. Augusta, who had remained with Byron at Piccadilly Terrace since his wife’s departure, intercepted the letter, as she feared Byron would commit suicide if he knew of it. She returned the letter to Kirkby Mallory and communicated her opinion that greater consideration should be taken in the matter of the Byrons’ marriage. A week later, however, a messenger sent Byron the proposal again.

This time it reached him but he refused to believe Lady Byron no longer wanted to be married to him. He asked Augusta to write to her; in addition, he refused to dissolve their marriage. A short while later, when Lady Byron made clear her suspicions that Byron’s relationship with his half-sister Augusta was incestuous, which was not then illegal, and that he had had homosexual relationships and had sodomised her – Lady Byron – which acts were, he changed his mind. He agreed to grant her request if she proved that the request for legal separation was truly hers and not that of her parents. In response, Lady Byron personally communicated her feelings to Leigh. Byron kept his word, and their separation was made legal in March 1816, in a private settlement.

Following the settlement, Leigh wrote to Lady Byron; the latter’s solicitor replied to the private note. Byron was enraged by such cold treatment of his half-sister. Soon after the dissolution of his marriage, he left England and lived the remainder of his days abroad.

Though she wished to separate from Byron, Lady Byron was haunted by him until her death. She had tried hard to save his soul and secure him a place in Heaven. In the years following their separation, she came to believe that the time she had spent with Byron guaranteed he would experience God’s embrace upon his death. She kept his letters, copies of her own to him, and letters about him. She carefully documented their relationship, supposedly in preparation for any challenge Byron may have made for custody of Ada.

He never did seek custody of his daughter, though he sent for both of them shortly before his death in Greece on 19 April 1824. Lady Byron was gratified by his final gesture. Her obsession with Byron did not end with his death. Ultimately her relationship with Byron defined her life, though she committed herself to social causes, such as prison reform and the abolition of slavery. In furtherance of the latter, Baroness Byron attended the 1840 World Anti-Slavery Convention, where she was one of the few women included in its commemorative painting.

As Ada grew, Lady Byron feared she might inherit Byron’s behaviors and dark moods. She schooled Ada in science and mathematics and discouraged literary study. Though her effort was great, it eventually seemed in vain. Ada Lovelace embodied many of her father’s rebellious qualities. She is also considered to have been the world’s first computer programmer, having written the first algorithm intended to be processed by a machine–Charles Babbage’s analytical engine.

She married at nineteen years of age, had three children, and amassed considerable gambling debts before dying from cancer on 27 November 1852. Lady Byron attended her daughter’s deathbed and, under her influence, Ada underwent an religious transformation. She was thirty-six years old when she died, the same age as Lord Byron when he died.

Lady Byron died of breast cancer on 16 May 1860, the day before her 68th birthday. She was buried in Kensal Green Cemetery at Kensal Green in London. Prior to her death, she shared the story of her marriage to Byron with Harriet Beecher Stowe, who published the account in 1869. In the event, she all but destroyed Lord Byron’s reputation. It was the first time anyone had published suspicions of an incestuous relationship between Byron and his half-sister.

Lady Byron’s barony passed to her grandson Byron King-Noel, Viscount Ockham.

In her will she left a £300 legacy to the writer George MacDonald whom she had patronized during her life.

Read Full Post »

I and five others have released the first in what could turn out to be a few, an anthology centered around Bath of the Georgian and Regency period. All proceeds go to charity, specifically the Great Ormond Street Hospital.

The Chocolate House

All For Love

The_Chocolate_House_-_All_for_Love_-_Anthology___Masqueraders__-_Kindle_edition_by_Francine_Howarth__Giselle_Marks__Elizabeth_Bailey__Susan_Ruth__Jessica_Schira__David_W__Wilkin__Romance_Kindle_eBooks___Amazon_com_-2015-04-29-05-00.jpg

Our Authors are noted and award winning storytellers in the genre of Georgian and Regency era Historical Novels:

David W Wilkin

Francine Howarth

Giselle Marks

Jessica Schira

Susan Ruth

Elizabeth Bailey

 

A Sensual blend of Chocolate, Romance, Murder & Mystery at “Masqueraders”.

The beautiful City of Bath, famous for its Roman Spa, its Abbey, its Pump Room & Assembly Rooms, and Sally Lunn’s bun shop, is a place made famous within the literary world by the likes of Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and other authors of Georgian and Regency historical novels. Thus Bath is renowned as a place for intrigue and romance, but few readers will have stepped across the threshold of Masqueraders’, a notorious and fashionable Chocolate House, that existed within the city from 1700 to the latter part of the reign of William IV. What happened to it thereafter, no one knows, for sure. Nor does anyone know why Sally Lunn’s bun shop disappeared for decades until it was rediscovered.

So it could be said, essence of chocolate drifting on the ether denotes where the seemingly mystical Masqueraders’ once existed, and it is that spiritual essence that has brought authors together from around the globe, to pen a delightful collection of Georgian & Regency romances, that are, all, in some way, linked to The Chocolate House. We sincerely hope you will enjoy the individual stories, and be assured all the royalties earned will be donated to Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London.

The stories:

A Rose by Any Other – Giselle Marks.

A Fatal Connection – Elizabeth Bailey

The Runaway Duchess – Francine Howarth

Death at the Chocolate House – Susan Ruth

A-Pig-in-a-Poke – Jessica Schira

A Little Chocolate in the Morning – David W. Wilkin.

My story (As the author and owner of this Blog, I feel I can tell you more) is the story of Charles Watkins the Marquis of Rockford (for those who want the nitty gritty, ask and we can discuss the very specific creation of name details that went into this) who has recently come into his title and estates, his father dying just about a year before. Now he is to return to London after his mourning is over to use his seat in the House of Lords in aid of the war against Napoleon. He is not in Town to seek a bride though the dowager Marchioness should like that he attain one.

No, certainly not the schoolmate of his younger sister Emma, Lady Caroline Williamson, the daughter of the Earl of Feversham. A girl as young and silly as his sister, he would never wed, and certainly not fall in love with. But rescuing her from the clutches of a man who was old enough to be his own grandfather, that he could do with ease, and perhaps Panache.

Available at Amazon Digitally for your Kindle for $2.99 or Physically in Trade Paperback

Read Full Post »

Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Henry Reynolds-Moreton 2nd Earl of Ducie
8 May 1802 – 2 June 1853

Henry Reynolds-Moreton 2nd Earl of Ducie was born on 8 May 1902, the son of Thomas Reynolds-Moreton, 1st Earl of Ducie, and his wife Lady Frances, daughter of Henry Herbert, 1st Earl of Carnarvon. He was educated at Eton. Lord Ducie married the Hon. Elizabeth, daughter of John Dutton, 2nd Baron Sherborne, on 29 June 1826. They had eleven sons and four daughters.

Lord Moreton entered Parliament for Gloucestershire in 1831, a seat he held until the following year when the constituency was abolished, and then represented Gloucestershire East until 1835. After entering the House of Lords on the death of his father in 1840 he served in the Whig administration of Lord Russell as a Lord-in-Waiting (government whip in the House of Lords) from 1846 to 1847, when he resigned. In Parliament he gained a reputation as an advocate of free trade. He supported the repeal of the Corn Laws and, as an agriculturalist, his views were influential.

Despite his political career Ducie is best remembered as a leading agriculturalist and as a breeder of shorthorns. From 1851 to 1852 he was President of the Royal Agricultural Society. The sale of his famous shorthorns shortly after his death in 1853 generated £9,000.

He was a prominent member of the Evangelican Alliance.

He died on 2 June 1853 at his home, Tortworth Court, Whitfield, Gloucestershire aged 51, and was succeeded in the earldom by his eldest son Henry. His wife, the Countess of Ducie, died in 1865. As his son Henry died in October 1921 without a living son, the earldom passed to another of Lord Ducie’s sons Berkeley who had immigrated to Queensland, Australia.

The “Ducie cultivator” usually ascribed to him is in fact believed to have been invented by the managers of his ironworks at Uley.

Read Full Post »

An Unofficial Guide to how to win the Scenarios of Rollercoaster Tycoon 3, Soaked! and WILD!

I have been a fan of this series of computer games since early in its release of the very first game. That game was done by one programmer, Chris Sawyer, and it was the first I recall of an internet hit. Websites were put up in dedication to this game where people showed off their creations, based on real amusement parks. These sites were funded by individuals, an expense that was not necessarily as cheap then as it is now. Nor as easy to program then as it might be to build a web page now.

Prima Books released game guides for each iteration of the game, Rollercoaster Tycoon 1, Rollercoaster Tycoon 2 and Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 (RCT3) but not for the expansion sets. And unlike the first two works, the third guide was riddled with incorrect solutions. As I played the game that frustrated me. And I took to the forums that Atari, the game publisher hosted to see if I could find a way to solve those scenarios that the Prima Guide had written up in error. Not finding any good advice, I created my own for the scenarios that the “Official” Guide had gotten wrong.

Solutions that if you followed my advice you would win the scenario and move on. But if you followed the
Official” version you would fail and not be able to complete the game. My style and format being different than the folks at Prima, I continued for all the Scenarios that they had gotten right as well, though my solutions cut to the chase and got you to the winner’s circle more quickly, more directly.

My contributions to the “Official” Forum, got me a place as a playtester for both expansions to the game, Soaked and Wild. And for each of these games, I wrote the guides during the play testing phase so all the play testers could solve the scenarios, and then once again after the official release to make changes in the formula in case our aiding to perfect the game had changed matters. For this, Atari and Frontier (the actual programmers of the game) placed me within the game itself.

And for the longest time, these have been free at the “Official” Forums, as well as my own website dedicated to the game. But a short time ago, I noticed that Atari, after one of its bankruptcies had deleted their forums. So now I am releasing the Guide for one and all. I have added new material and it is over 150 pages, for all three games. It is available for the Kindle at present for $7.99. It is also available as a trade paperback for just a little bit more.

You can also find this at Smashwords, iBooks, Kobo and Barnes and Noble

Cover-RCT3-Soaked-Wild-%252528all%252529-Guide-2015-04-28-05-34.jpg

(Click on the picture to purchase)

Not only are all 39 Scenarios covered, but there are sections covering every Cheat Code, Custom Scenery, the famous Small Park Competition, the Advanced Fireworks Editor, the Flying Camera Route Editor which are all the techniques every amusement park designer needs to make a fantastic park in Rollercoaster Tycoon 3.

Scenarios for RCT 3

1) Vanilla Hills

2) Goldrush

3) Checkered Flag

4) Box Office

5) Fright Night

6) Go With The Flow

7) Broom Lake

8) Valley of Kings

9) Gunslinger

10) Ghost Town

11) National Treasure

12) New Blood

13) Island Hopping

14) Cosmic Crags

15) La La Land

16) Mountain Rescue

17) The Money Pit

18) Paradise Island

Scenarios for Soaked!

1) Captain Blackheart’s Cove

2) Oasis of Fun

3) Lost Atlantis

4) Monster Lake

5) Fountain of Youth

6) World of the Sea

7) Treasure Island

8) Mountain Spring

9) Castaway Getaway

Scenarios for WILD!

1) Scrub Gardens

2) Ostrich Farms Plains

3) Egyptian Sand Dance

4) A Rollercoaster Odyssey

5) Zoo Rescue

6) Mine Mountain

7) Insect World

8) Rocky Coasters

9) Lost Land of the Dinosaurs

10) Tiger Forest

11) Raiders of the Lost Coaster

12) Saxon Farms

Read Full Post »

Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Joseph George Holman
August 1764–24 August 1817

PastedGraphic2-2015-04-27-06-00.png

Joseph George Holman

Joseph George Holman was born in August 1764, he was son of John Major Holman of St. Giles’s, Middlesex, an ensign and adjutant in the British service, who died when his son was two years of age. He was placed by an uncle at Barwis’s school in Soho Square, where amateur acting was in vogue. With a view to the church as a career, he matriculated 7 February 1783 at The Queen’s College, Oxford, but took no degree.

On 25 October 1784, at Covent Garden, as Romeo, Holman made his first appearance on the stage. An address was spoken by Thomas Hull, who played Friar Lawrence. Holman’s performances were attended by fashionable audiences, and he remained at Covent Garden until 1800. His original characters include Harry Thunder in John O’Keeffe’s Wild Oats, 16 April 1791, Harry Dornton in Thomas Holcroft’s Road to Ruin, 18 February 1792, and many parts in plays by Frederic Reynolds, Hannah Cowley, and other dramatists.

At the end of his third season Holman left Covent Garden on a question of terms. He acted in Dublin and in English and Scottish towns, but soon returned to Covent Garden.

In the season of 1799–1800 a serious quarrel took place between the proprietors of Covent Garden and eight of the principal actors. A pamphlet A Statement of the Differences subsisting between the Proprietors and Performers of the Theatre Royal Covent Garden was published in 1800, and went through several editions: its authorship was attributed to Holman. The actors objected to restrictions on their power of giving orders for admission, and to change in the charges for benefits and the amount of fines for the refusal of a character. The Lord Chamberlain’s verdict was hostile to the actors, and there was a public row. Seven actors accepted the decision and remained at Covent Garden. Holman either resigned or was dismissed.

Holman appeared a few times at the Haymarket Theatre, where he produced his What a Blunder, a comic opera in three acts, in which he was Count Alphonso d’Esparza. Holman went to Dublin, where he took for a time a share with Frederick Edward Jones in the management. He then took to farming.

On 31 July 1806 Holman played in Dublin for his benefit Antony in All for Love, by John Dryden, to the Ventidius of Thomas Potter Cooke. On 22 August 1812, as Jaffier in Thomas Otway’s Venice Preserved, he reappeared at the Haymarket after eleven years’ absence; and played a few further parts.

Holman went to America in 1812, and took with him a daughter, who played in New York Lady Townly in the Provoked Husband to his Lord Townly, and supported him throughout his American career. In a letter of introduction he took out he is described as a fellow of Queen’s College. In 1813 Holman and Miss Holman played at the Chestnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia. He undertook the management of the Walnut Street Theatre in the city, and failed there.

Holman then (1815) managed a theatre in Charleston, Virginia, went to England for additional performers, and married a singer. He died, according to one account, of apoplexy at Rockaway on Long Island, on 24 August 1817, and, according to another, of yellow fever, which also carried off his wife.

His dramatic works consist of:

  • Abroad and at Home, 1796, a comic opera in three acts, originally called The King’s Bench, but the licenser objected to the title. It was acted 29 times, twice printed in the same year, and acted frequently in England and America.
  • Red Cross Knights, in five acts, 1799; Haymarket, 21 August 1799. This is taken from Schiller’s The Robbers, a translation of which by Holman was refused by the licenser.
  • Votary of Wealth, 1799; Covent Garden, 12 January 1799; a comedy.
  • What a Blunder, 1800; Haymarket, 14 August 1800, and Covent Garden, 31 May 1803; a comic opera in three acts.
  • Love gives the Alarm, a comedy given once at Covent Garden, 23 February 1804, a failure, and never printed.

Holman only acted in one of his own plays.

In 1798 Holman married Jane, youngest daughter of the Hon. and Rev. Frederick Hamilton, a direct descendant of the Duke of Hamilton. She died 11 June 1810.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »