Henry Irving

Authored by: Russell Jackson

The Routledge Companion to Directors’ Shakespeare

Print publication date:  April  2010
Online publication date:  June  2009

Print ISBN: 9780415400442
eBook ISBN: 9780203932520
Adobe ISBN: 9781134146482


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During his lifetime, Sir Henry Irving (1838–1905), born in a cottage, made the first theatrical knight (in 1895) and buried in Westminster Abbey, became an icon of the new-found respectability of his profession. This did not come about without conscious effort: his most recent biographer rightly emphasises Irving’s ‘promotion of theatrical commemoration and […] publicity management’ as contributions to the acceptance of the commercial theatre – and himself – as significant in cultural life (Richards 2005: 73).

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