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Titre : JOHN G The Authorised Biography of John ...
Éditeur : Hodder & Stoughton, London
Date d'édition : 2001
Reliure : Hard Cover
Etat du livre : Very Good
Etat de la jaquette : Very Good
Signé : Signed by Author
Edition : First Edition, First Impression.
d/w slightly bumped Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. N° de réf. du libraire 13008
Synopsis : The authorised biography of the greatest classical actor of all time John Gielgud's career, spanning almost eighty years, could be described as the history of twentieth-century British theatre. Seven years before his death, John Gielgud invited Sheridan Morley to become his only authorised biographer, handing over to him letters and diaries and personal files. In addition to this huge archive, Morley has interviewed more than two hundred of John's colleagues, friends, rivals and critics to form a fully rounded and detailed portrait of the great man. Sheridan Morley has produced the definitive portrait of one of the most-loved actors of the twentieth century.
Critique: According to the hyperbolic blurb on the back cover, Sheridan Morley's John G: the Authorised Biography is "The authorized biography of the greatest classical actor of all time". Quite apart from his obvious contemporaries who would also be in the running for these laurels--a certain Laurence Olivier springs to mind--what about the centuries of actors who preceded Gielgud, such as David Garrick or Edmund Kean? With no sound recording or film footage of such greats, however, comparisons are not only odorous but impossible. Another description is much safer, and truer: "one of the most-loved actors of the 20th century". There was something both brilliantly talented and endearing about Gielgud, and this is a handsome and definitive portrait of the man from the excellent biographer of previous actors including David Niven, Noel Coward and Sheridan Morley's own father, Robert. Morley. Morley knows the theatre better than the back of his hand, and the lows are here as well as the highs: the disastrous 1961 Othello, during which Gielgud's beard kept coming off, and "a wall mysteriously flew upwards in Act Two, taking with it several surprised actors who happened to be sitting on it at the time". There is a full account of Gielgud's arrest for soliciting a plain-clothes policeman in a Chelsea lavatory in 1953. "Well, John," said Sybil Thorndike when she heard the news, "what a very silly bugger you have been." He survived, of course, and lived to be handsomely knighted. And there is a choice selection of the Gielgudisms, or "faux-pas" for which the great man was so famous. Sometimes these were straightforward, though outrageous indiscretions, such as his verdict on his beloved Peggy Ashcroft: "Peggy has been in and out of every bed in London, and not a line on her face. That must be what a really active sex life can do for a woman." And sometimes they were finely balanced between gaucheness and calculated waspishness: accepting an invitation to lunch with Glenda Jackson and Gyles Brandreth at the House of Commons, he wrote back, "I should be delighted to join you both, especially as, you see, all my real friends are dead." -- Christopher Hart
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Description de la librairie : Private Collection