Sunday, February 08, 2015

English Theatrical and Cinema Bookplates- Part One

This is the first installment of an ongoing listing of bookplates used by English theatrical and cinematic entertainers . It also includes writers, producers and directors.. The brief biographical blurbs were copied from the internet .

 If you wish to add theatrical bookplates to this posting send scans to

"Harold Chapin (15 February 1886 – 26 September 1915) was an English actor and playwright.
Chapin was born in BrooklynNew York, in 1886. Although “technically an American citizen, he was an English actor, and English playwright and died as a British soldier”. A true man of the theatre, he worked as an actor (appearing extensively in the West End and in the original productions of What Every Woman Knows by J.M. Barrie and Strife by John Galsworthy), director and stage manager, and was closely associated with Harley Granville Barker.
His plays were produced throughout the UK and in New York 
Regarded as one of the greatest potential dramatic talents to be lost in the First World War, his work has often been compared with that of Edwardian playwright St John Hankin. Although largely unperformed today, his best known three act workThe New Morality was performed at the Finborough Theatre, London, in 2005.
Enlisting in the Royal Army Medical Corps of the British Army in September 1914, Lance Corporal Chapin was killed in action at the age of 29 at the Battle of Loos in 1915, leaving a wife and five year old son."


"Sir Noël Peirce Coward (16 December 1899 – 26 March 1973) was an English playwright, composer, director, actor and singer, known for his wit, flamboyance, and what Time magazine called "a sense of personal style, a combination of cheek and chic, pose and poise".
Born in Teddington, southwest London, Coward attended a dance academy in London as a child, making his professional stage début at the age of eleven. As a teenager he was introduced into the high society in which most of his plays would be set. Coward achieved enduring success as a playwright, publishing more than 50 plays from his teens onwards. Many of his works, such as Hay FeverPrivate Lives,Design for LivingPresent Laughter and Blithe Spirit, have remained in the regular theatre repertoire. He composed hundreds of songs, in addition to well over a dozen musical theatre works (including the operetta Bitter Sweet and comic revues), poetry, several volumes of short stories, the novel Pomp and Circumstance, and a three-volume autobiography. Coward's stage and film acting and directing career spanned six decades, during which he starred in many of his own works."

"David Garrick (19 February 1717 – 20 January 1779) was an English actor, playwright, theatre manager and producer who influenced nearly all aspects of theatrical practice throughout the 18th century and was a pupil and friend of Dr Samuel Johnson. He appeared in a number of amateur theatricals, and with his appearance in the title role of Shakespeare's Richard III audiences and managers began to take notice.
Impressed by his portrayals of Richard III and a number of other roles, Charles Fleetwood engaged Garrick for a season at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. He remained with the Drury Lane company for the next five years and purchased a share of the theatre with James Lacy. This purchase inaugurated 29 years of Garrick's management of the Drury Lane, during which time it rose to prominence as one of the leading theatres in Europe. At his death, three years after his retirement from Drury Lane and the stage, he was given a lavish public funeral at Westminster Abbey where he was laid in Poets' Corner.
As an actor, Garrick promoted realistic acting that departed from the bombastic style that was entrenched when Garrick first came to prominence. His acting delighted many audiences and his direction of many of the top actors of the English stage influenced their styles as well. Furthermore, during his tenure as manager of Drury Lane, Garrick sought to reform audience behaviour. While this led to some discontent among the theatre-going public, many of his reforms eventually did take hold. In addition to audiences, Garrick sought reform in production matters, bringing an overarching consistency to productions that included set design,costumes and even special effects.
Garrick's influence extended into the literary side of theatre as well. Critics are almost unanimous in saying he was not a good playwright, but his work in bringing Shakespeare to contemporary audiences is notable. In addition, he adapted many older plays in the repertoire that might have been forgotten. These included many plays of the Restoration era. Indeed, while influencing the theatre towards a better standard he also gained a better reputation for theatre folk. This accomplishment led Samuel Johnson to remark that "his profession made him rich and he made his profession respectable."

"Wyndham Goldie (1897–1957) was a British stage and film actor. Goldie first achieved fame as an actor with the Liverpool Playhouse from 1927 until summer 1934, the last year during which he also directed plays. He was married to the television producer Grace Wyndham Goldie."

John Pritt Harley (February 1786 – 22 August 1858) was an English actor known for his comic acting and singing.

"Sir Arthur John GielgudOMCH (/ˈɡlɡʊd/; 14 April 1904 – 21 May 2000), was an English actor and theatre director whose career spanned eight decades. With Ralph Richardson and Laurence Olivier, he was one of the trinity of actors who dominated the British stage for much of the 20th century. A member of the Terry family theatrical dynasty, he gained his first paid acting work as a junior member of his cousin Phyllis Neilson-Terry's company in 1922. After studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art he worked in repertory theatre and in the West End before establishing himself at the Old Vic as an exponent of Shakespeare in 1929–31.
During the 1930s Gielgud was a stage star in the West End and on Broadway, appearing in new works and classics. He began a parallel career as a director, and set up his own company at the Queen's Theatre, London. He was regarded by many as the finest Hamlet of his era, and was also known for high comedy roles such as John Worthing in The Importance of Being Earnest. In the 1950s Gielgud feared that his career was threatened when he was convicted and fined for a homosexual offence, but his colleagues and the public supported him loyally. When avant-gardeplays began to supersede traditional West End productions in the later 1950s he found no new suitable stage roles, and for several years he was best known in the theatre for his one-man Shakespeare show, The Ages of Man. From the late 1960s he found new plays that suited him, by authors including Alan BennettDavid Storey and Harold Pinter.
During the first half of his career Gielgud did not take the cinema seriously. Though he made his first film in 1924, and had successes with The Good Companions (1933) and Julius Caesar (1953), he did not begin a regular film career until his sixties. Between Becket in 1964, for which he received an Oscar nomination, and Elizabeth in 1998 he appeared in more than sixty films. As the acid-tongued Hobson in Arthur (1981) he won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Although largely indifferent to awards, Gielgud had the rare distinction of winning an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy, and a Tony. He was famous from the start of his career for his voice and his mastery of Shakespearean verse. He broadcast more than a hundred radio and television dramas, between 1929 and 1994, and made commercial recordings of many plays, including ten of Shakespeare's. Among his honours, he was knighted in 1953 and the Gielgud Theatre was named after him. From 1977 to 1989, he was president of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art."

Sir Henry Irving (1838-1905)

"Sir Henry Irving  born John Henry Brodribb,  was an English stage actor in the Victorian era, known as an actor-manager because he took complete responsibility (supervision of sets, lighting, direction, casting, as well as playing the leading roles) for season after season at theLyceum Theatre, establishing himself and his company as representative of English classical theatre. He was the first actor to be awarded a knighthood. Irving is thought to have been the inspiration for the title character in Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula."

The bookplate shown below(with the letters of his name in red) was reproduced on page 238 in English Bookplates by Egerton Castle.
From time to time I have seen his bookplate with the red letters..Such bookplates were cut out of Mr Castle's book and are bogus.

Gertrude Lawrence (1902?-1952)

 English actress and singer.A childhood friend of Noel Coward.. She appeared with him in his
Private Lives (1931) and Tonight at 8:30 (1936 )

Shown above ia a bookplate used by Gertrude Lawrence and her second husband the American producer Richard Stoddard Aldrich.
He was born on August 17, 1902 in Boston, Massachusetts, and is is known for his work on As Summers Die (1986), The Moon Is Blue(1953) and The Ed Sullivan Show (1948). 

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