The Books of To-day and the Books of To-morrow, September 1906
How our Actors are Recruiting.
MR. BOURCHIER is spending his vacation on a walking tour with Mr. Walkley and Mr. Max Beerbohm. Mr. Bourchier’s Eton slouch is the admiration of all who see it.
MR. GERALD DU MAURIER is paying a round of country-house visits, and doing very well. His swag last week included two diamond necklaces and a rope of pearls.
MR. TREE spends his days learning the harp, and his nights setting fire to various provincial towns. As he cheerily puts it, ‘Adsum.’ ‘I am on the spot.’
THERE is no doubt that Mr. George Alexander would enjoy a rest. His part in His House in Order is real (flannel) collar-work. When free, he intends to make a series of stays with young married couples in order to settle their disagreements for them.
MR. CHARLES HAWTREY is devoting his leisure to the exploration of Darkest Bayswater. The expedition, which includes Mr. Kemble, Mr. Aubrey Fitzgerald, and Mr. Weedon Grossmith, was last heard of in the Portobello Road district. The natives are at present friendly, but so little is known of the perils of that desolate country, that the friends of the explorers are subject to the gravest anxiety, and eagerly await further news.
MR. SEYMOUR HICKS and Miss Ellaline Terriss are spending a few weeks in Dublin; and one of the features of the coming theatrical season will be the second edition of The Beauty of Bath in Erse. A part is to be written in for Mr. Tim Healy.
MR. DION BOUCICAULT has attached himself temporarily to New Scotland Yard, and is to be turned on to the next big murder mystery. Mr. Boucicault has a system of detection all his own. Veteran sleuth-hounds confess themselves baffled by his methods.
GASCONY is the spot to which Mr. Lewis Waller has retired. He has fought, to date, fifteen duels with the rapier, and won them all.
MR. G. P. HUNTLEY is rabbit-farming at his charming little house at Ippleton. He is also interesting himself in apple-growing. His article in the current number of the Fruiterers’ Gazette, entitled ‘East Wobsley as an Apple Centre,’ has excited considerable comment.
IN PREPARATION for a possible revival of The Admirable Crichton, Mr. H. B. Irving has obtained a situation as butler in an Earl’s household. His total of broken plates is now eighty-seven, including twenty-three which came apart in his hands.
MR. CYRIL MAUDE is in the country, looking after his Shore Acres and a cow.
Printed unsigned; entered by Wodehouse in Money Received for Literary Work.
Arthur Bourchier (1863–1927), English actor and theatre manager.
A. B. Walkley (1855–1926), civil servant and dramatic critic for The Times.
Max Beerbohm (1872–1956) was dramatic critic for the Saturday Review in addition to his work as humorous essayist and caricaturist.
Gerald du Maurier starred in Raffles, the Amateur Cracksman at the Comedy Theatre, London, for 353 performances in 1906–07. The character, based on the stories by E. W. Hornung (a cricketing teammate of PGW), is a gentleman cricket player who moves in high society and does a good line in amateur thievery.
Herbert Beerbohm Tree played the title role in Stephen Phillips’s Nero at His Majesty’s Theatre. “Adsum” (Latin for “I am here,” a classical schoolboy’s response to his name in a roll call) is a reference to another Tree role, as Thackeray’s Colonel Newcome, who speaks it as his dying word.
George Alexander (1858–1918), English actor, producer, and manager, was appearing in A. W. Pinero’s play His House in Order at the St. James’s Theatre. See also “The New Revolution” from April 1906.
Charles Hawtrey (1858–1923), English actor, director, producer, manager, known for debonair roles in modern comedies. Unrelated to the 20th century film actor of the Carry On series.
Mr. Kemble: Probably Henry Kemble (1848–1907), English actor.
Aubrey Fitzgerald (1874–1968), British actor.
Weedon Grossmith (1854–1919), English writer, painter, actor, and playwright. Co-author with his brother George and illustrator of The Diary of a Nobody.
Seymour Hicks and Ellaline Terris, husband and wife, were prominent actors and producers in Edwardian musical comedy, including The Beauty of Bath, for which PGW wrote lyrics for the interpolated song “Mr. Chamberlain” (music by Jerome Kern).
Tim Healy may refer to the Irish politician and author (1855–1931).
Dion Boucicault was appearing as Curtis Bedford, the Scotland Yard detective, opposite Gerald du Maurier’s Raffles. Link to photo from The Sketch, May 30, 1906.
Lewis Waller appeared as D’Artagnan (from Gascony) in several productions of The Three Musketeers.
G. P. Huntley starred as Mr. Popple (of Ippleton) in Paul Rubens’s musical play, in which you have to change to a branch line train at East Wobsley to get to Ippleton, where Popple raises rabbits. Wodehouse apparently enjoyed these place names, reusing them in Mike, “All About Shakespeare”, and “The Truth About George” (though reversing the two names with respect to the change of trains). They also appear naturally in his review of Nobody Home.
H. B. Irving (1870–1919) created the title role (a butler) of J. M. Barrie’s play The Admirable Crichton in 1902.
Cyril Maude appeared in James Herne’s American rural play Shore Acres at the Waldorf Theatre from May to September 1906.
—Notes by Neil Midkiff