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Shakespeare was also found in elocutionary handbooks , which presented individual scenes or speeches intended to be read aloud as a means of learning to speak well in public.

scribbling and scheming for… MONSTERVILLE!

Forrest had met great success performing in England as well as America. When Macready toured America, Forrest followed him, performing the same roles, and the press promoted a rivalry between the two, rooted in culture and class: the upper-class Englishman versus the working-class American. When Forrest returned to England in the s, the conflict intensified, with Forrest hissing and jeering Macready on stage, and Macready claiming that Forrest had no taste. In , Macready was booked to perform Macbeth at the luxurious Astor Place Opera House, then managed by the American actor, writer, and once and future presidential correspondent James Henry Hackett.

Forrest was engaged to act in the same play a few blocks away at the Broadway Theatre. While performing on May 7, Macready was jeered by fans of Forrest, who threw rotten eggs and vegetables at him. He left the stage and announced he would return to England. Three nights later, a huge anti-Macready crowd gathered outside Astor Place Opera House, undeterred by the presence of police and militia. The crowd grew unruly and attacked the militia, who responded by firing into the crowd, leaving at least 22 people dead and hundreds more wounded.

Macready escaped the chaos in disguise and returned to England. After James Henry Hackett realized that he possessed a talent for making people laugh, he abandoned his career as a grocer, moved to New York City, and took to the stage. Artists immortalized Hackett in this role in numerous prints and paintings. In the s, John Tallis, the London-based publisher of maps and views, capitalized on the relatively new medium of photography by publishing dozens of engravings based on photographs of actors posing as the characters they played on stage, including Hackett as Falstaff.

The prints fed the enormous Victorian desire to possess photographic likenesses and brought a new kind of celebrity to performers. Victorians also loved Staffordshire figurines, named for the county in England in which they were made, beginning in the 18th century. The middle classes were keen to decorate their homes with objects similar to costlier figurines, and Staffordshire potters obliged them by producing all kinds of animals, as well as literary figures, celebrities, politicians, and kings and queens.

Many actors appeared in glazed earthenware form, including James Henry Hackett as Falstaff, modeled after the engraving published by John Tallis.

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The flat back of the figurine was intended to be placed against a mantel top, with Falstaff facing outward and adding ceramic cheer to the room. Laying claim to the most-beloved actor of the American stage and the assassin of President Abraham Lincoln, the Booth family forever altered the landscape of culture and politics in 19th-century America. Edmund Kean, at that time the foremost tragedian in England, played the same role at Drury Lane that same year, prompting critics and playgoers to argue the merits of each actor.

Although Kean was widely regarded as the more talented of the two actors, he saw Booth as a threat and often tried to perform in competing productions. Similar rivalries occurred throughout the century, most notably between Edwin Forrest and William Charles Macready, which resulted in the deadly Astor Place Riot in Partly because of his rivalry with Kean, in Booth emigrated to the United States, settling in Maryland.

In less than a year, he became the most prominent actor in the United States.

With his second wife, Booth had 10 children, including 3 sons who were also actors: Junius Brutus Booth, Jr. Many consider Edwin Booth to be the greatest American actor of the 19th century.

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Edwin made his stage debut at age 13, alongside his father whom he accompanied on tour in an effort to stop him from drinking in Richard III. In , when his father was too ill to appear on stage, Edwin took his place in the title role. After a fire there, Booth built his own theater in Manhattan, which opened on February 3, , with Romeo and Juliet.

Elaborate productions followed, but the theater never became profitable. Booth returned to touring and his final performance was, fittingly, as Hamlet, in at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. This performance was the only time that the three brothers appeared together on the same stage. The production was a benefit, organized to raise funds for a statue of William Shakespeare, which still stands in Central Park just south of the Promenade.

By , actor and theater manager Charles Kean was known for lavish productions using historically accurate costumes and sets. With The Tempest , though, he apparently felt himself free from the confines of any specific historical period and at liberty to exercise his imagination.

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The play drew unanimous raves from the press, who conceded that the acting was secondary to the spectacle. In addition to stage directions such as entrances and exits, it contains cues for elaborate effects and timings, as well as watercolor designs for 14 scenes. Capitalizing on the popularity of the production, a printed version of the promptbook was also published.

By the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Shakespeare was popular enough to sell just about anything , from soap, to clothing, to corned beef, to beer , to cars. When last Wednesday's email arrived, I realized it looked like it was going to be a bad weekend for getting around on the Isle of Dogs.

The Jubilee line, the only London underground route serving the area wasn't running eastbound from North Greenwich towards Stratford. Bad news a day later when the BBC reported that two of the unions who represent bus drivers in London were going to be striking from Friday night through to Sunday morning, affecting 3 of the 5 bus routes that run close to my house, impacting services even more. TFL, short for Transport of London, is the city agency responsible for all the transportation in London. If you move anywhere in London, whether it be by bicycle lanes, roads or rails, and whether the vehicle carrying you is a car, bike, taxi, bus, tube or train, TFL most likely has a big hand in making your ride what it is.

When you pay your congestion charge, tap your Oyster card when getting on the train or watch the taxi metre count up, it's the TFL that set your rates. Because of this control, they make a pretty easy punching bag for anyone trying to get around in London. Firstly, the tube trains are incredibly hot. I come from a city with air conditioned subways, and so arriving in London in the height of summer and riding in the hot trains in the stiflingly still air of the deep tunnels, drenched in sweat and crushed against your fellow travellers was a bit of a surprise to me, and I soon found myself wishing for a cool train and a seat.

If that doesn't get your blood boiling, then no doubt the constant shut downs and delays will probably get you. Every weekend since I have arrived a number of lines, especially the Victoria, Jubilee and DLR have been partially or fully shut down. Beyond that, every day seems to find at least one line suffering "severe delays" due to signalling problems, which is especially distressing during rush hour, when hundreds of thousands of people are trying to get around using the underground, overground and national rail running through the city.

National Rail, which is in fact a collection of a number of companies running franchises serving the suburban commuter and intercity trains, has it's own problems, from stations needing to be completely rebuilt to track works shutting down lines to some destinations completely at times.

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Having only been here a short time though, and coming from Toronto, I have a different perspective than the long time Londoners. Sure, you'll find me cursing TFL from time to time, like on Saturday when I had to backtrack 20 minutes upon learning that a bridge crossing the Millwall Dock was closed for construction on a DLR station, or this morning when I sat for 10 minutes outside of Bank station waiting for the DLR train to pull in, backed up due to the omnipresent "signalling problems. Despite my curses these past few days, I come from a city with four subway lines covering 68 kilometres of track.

London, by contrast, has kilometres of track. Toronto's subways and buses are run by the TTC. There is no integration between these three services, in either fares or scheduling, nor is there any integration between Toronto's transit and it's neighbouring cities.

London, on the other hand, is well integrated. Sure, it's expensive and you often have to pay additional charges when transferring between modes of transit i. The biggest difference between Toronto and London though, has to do with what was closing those lines all weekend in London. The last subway to be opened in , a 5. Toronto has plans to build more subways and light rail projects, but right now they are just lines on a map, and Toronto's history has seen lots of lines on a map. London, on the other hand, is growing. While there haven't been any tube extensions since , the DLR expanded most recently in , and an extension is currently under construction, and the London Overground, a commuter rail service run by TFL is expanding rapidly to expand from 4 to 5 rail lines.

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  • Other rail services are getting upgrades as well. Thameslink, the north-south train line through the centre of London, is getting an upgrade to allow longer trains. The most ambitious scheme, though, is Crossrail. I checked out the Crossrail information session today at Liverpool street station and picked up some literature on the project. The Isle of Dogs station is set to be built underwater in the West India Dock, right in the middle of the water in the picture below.

    The tunnelled section will be about 22 kilometres long, and will have to be tunnelled through the existing spider web of existing tunnels for trains, tube and cars already under the city. When complete projected for , the line will provide up to 24 trains per hour through the centre of the city, and with a link down to Heathrow, provide much better transit to London's main airport from the east-end. If things go according to plan, in less than 10 years London will have a completely new, high frequency service through the centre of town. Toronto, via it's MoveOntario plan, is hoping to add similar cross-town services to Toronto by , though with funding disagreements between the city, provincial and federal governments, who knows what will happen.

    So to my London friends, don't complain too much. London really does have an excellent public transit system, and with constant upgrades and extensions going on, it is only getting better.

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    • When things get bad, try and grin and bear it. It could be a lot worse. Well I was well aware of people talking about British eccentricity, I was unprepared for the fact that one of their most famous philosophers and reformers would wind up on display in a glass box for all to see. University College London was founded in Prior to its founding, the only other two universities in England were Oxford and Cambridge, which only allowed men who were members of the Church of England.

      UCL was formed with a goal of being non-discriminatory and open to all.



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