Warren, William


Famed 19th century Boston comic actor misquotes Shakespeare



Autograph ID: 4804
Condition: Very good, tiny ink dot at top right, slight crease at lower right edge
Description: (1812-1888) American actor, nephew of Joseph Jefferson, for many years connected with the old Boston Museum. Born in Philadelphia, he was educated at the Franklin Institute there. After his father’s death in 1832, débuted a week later at the Arch Street Theatre in Philadelphia in the part of Young Norval, the character in which his father, also an actor and also named William Warren, had begun his career upon the stage. He first appeared in New York City in 1841, in London in 1845, and in Boston in 1846. He played in various characters, from broad and eccentric comedy to juvenile tragedy, with general acceptance. In 1847, he became a member of the Boston Museum, where he remained, with a brief exception, until he retired in 1883. His 1882 semi-centennial brought many tributes to the admirable comedian, representative of the best traditions of the stage. Toward the last, he was particularly successful in rendering the roles of fine old English gentlemen, at his best in such roles as Dr. Pangloss in “The Heir at Law”, Sir Peter Teazle in “The School for Scandal,” and Dr. Primrose and Touchstone in “As You Like It.”

AQS on a 4 ¾ x 7 ½ album page slightly misquoting Shakespeare’s Sonnet XV: “’This huge stage presenteth naught but shows,/Whereon the stars in secret influence commune.’ Shakespeare. Respectfully yours [signed] Boston, April/81.” With photostat paper portrait & bio. Shakespeare’s Sonnet XV actually reads, in part: “…That this huge stage presenteth nought but shows/Whereon the stars in secret influence comment…”
Type: Autograph Quotation Signed

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