11 March 2015 / Events

The Gladiator, the Indian, the Dutchman and Shakespeare: Three American Actors in Nineteenth-Century England

Presented by Dr Arthur Bloom

he New York Mirror of December 4, 1880 wrote that for nineteenth-century American actors, ‘the verdict of foreigners’ was ‘the verdict of posterity’. In order to be acknowledged as a major tragedian or comedian, an American actor had to gain the respect of European, particularly English, audiences and critics. This lecture will survey the attempts of Edwin Forrest, Joseph Jefferson and Edwin Booth to find success on the English stage and will particularly focus on why Jefferson was received so positively while Forrest and Booth fought an uphill battle to gain popular and critical favour.

Dr. Arthur W. Bloom is a graduate of Dartmouth College and holds a PhD in Theatre History from Yale University. His academic career included work at Fisk University, Loyola University of Chicago, Loyola Marymount University and Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, where he served as dean of Visual and Performing Arts. Dr. Bloom is the author of Joseph Jefferson: Dean of the American Theatre and Edwin Booth: A Biography and Performance History. In retirement he has collected over a million dollars to aid economically disadvantaged students go to college and is currently working on a biography of the early nineteenth-century American tragedian Edwin Forrest.


11 March 2015




Swedenborg Hall, Holborn, London