Monday, February 13, 2006

14May1856, Fanny Kemble

LONDON, May 14th, 1856.
-0h, on the 14th, we all went to Fanny Kemble's reading of " King Lear " : it fully has answered my highest expectation, has grown on me since. The most wonderful variation and power of expression, every single character with a different voice and look, the most astonishing change in the voices of each man, a different look of malice and wickedness, a different toned voice to the two atrocious sisters : oh, one positively hated her, as one saw her put on one of those demoniac faces, and the beauty of the change to Cordelia's quiet placidness, and touching sorrow, or to the broken-down, majestic, agonized old king. The worst was she missed so very much of Edgar, and a great deal of the scene on the heath, and all the scene with Gloucester on the top of the cliff, and more besides. But she could not have done all, I suppose ; two madnesses would have been all but impossible.

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