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Actor John Wilkes Booth performance ad, plus a rare critical review...

Item # 650716

October 9, 1863


* Rare John Wilkes Booth performance review & ad

It's always great to find news or advertisement tidbits about historic figures long before their names would draw national or international attention. Here is a great example.
Near the top of the front page is an intriguing advertisement for the play "The Merchant of Venice" at the Howard Anthenaeum, with the role of Shylock played by "Mr. J. Wilkes Booth" (see).
Additionally, the ftpg. also has a terrific & quite rare critical review of John Wilkes Booth's acting, a few bits noting: "Mr. Wilkes Booth played Pescara in the Apostate' last night, and played less to our liking than we had expected. Criticism and the plain indication of Mr. Booth's positive faults seem to produce but little reformation...curiosity to know whether he tries to improve...we found in his Pescara the same great blemishes which so annoyed those who wished wholly to admire him when he made his debut in Boston And these blemishes in the young aspirant grow to inexcusable faults in the actor who claims to hold a position in the front rank of tragic actors..." with even more (see).
And as an almost eerie, prophetic reference to his tragic actions just 18 months later in Washington, the report ends with: "...Booth owes it to himself too keep a close watch upon himself lest he fall into so deep a mire that he cannot retrieve his errant steps and to achieve all of which his talents afford a promise."
Rare not only to find a critical review of Booth but one taking such length.
Given this was a Boston theater, this report of John Wilkes Booth would only be found in a Boston newspaper.
Four pages, large folio size, nice condition. The folder size noted is for the issue folded in half.

Category: Yankee

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