Charles Kean Papers

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Charles Kean papers
Creator: Kean, Charles John, 1811?-1868
Call Number: D.30
Dates: 1817-1877
Physical Description: 1 box
Language(s): Materials are in English
Repository: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester

Table of Contents:

Biographical/Historical Note
Scope and Content
Subject(s)
Access
Use
Citation
Related Materials
Content List
Collection Overview
Title: Charles Kean papers
Creator: Kean, Charles John, 1811?-1868
Call Number: D.30
Dates: 1817-1877
Physical Description: 1 box
Language(s): Materials are in English
Repository: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester

Biographical/Historical Note
Charles Kean (1811-1868) was the son of Edmund Kean (1787-1833), the famous tragedian. He was educated at Eton, but was withdrawn when his father's fortunes began to decline. After the separation of his parents, Kean went on the stage against his father's wishes in order to support his mother. He made his first appearance at Drury Lane, under the management of Stephen Price, as Young Norval in Douglass, in 1827. He was not well received by the critics or the public, and so spent the years 1828-1838 acting in the provinces, Europe, and America. He appeared with his father on several occasions, and also had some engagements in London. Charles Kean first achieved popular success in 1838, playing a succession of Shakespearean roles. His popularity was also helped by his leading lady, Ellen Tree (1805-1880) who he married in 1842. In 1848 Queen Victoria appointed him the director of the Windsor Christmas theatricals, a post which he held until 1858. Kean took the lease of the Princess's Theatre in 1850, and during the next ten years alternated Shakespeare with popular pieces. His productions were noted for the accuracy of historical detail and splendor of pageantry. The Keans resigned the management of the Princess's in 1859, then toured the provinces in a series of farewell appearances. They sailed to Australia and America on their last foreign tour in 1863, finishing in New York in 1866. They planned to retire after a final tour of the English provinces, but Kean was taken ill after a performance in Liverpool, May 1867, and died January 1868. Ellen (Tree) Kean lived in retirement after her husband's death, and died in 1880.

Scope and Content
The Charles Kean Papers are comprised of one box containing twenty folders of correspondence, newspaper articles, and ephemera. Correspondents include Charles and Ellen (Tree) Kean, and members of the London theatrical world, in addition to a long series between the Keans and George William Lovell concerns the writing of The Wife's Secret, one of their most popular plays.

Subject(s):
England
Actors
Theater
Correspondence
Kean, Charles John, 1811?-1868
Dramatists, English
Access
The Charles Kean papers is open for research use. Researchers are advised to contact Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation prior to visiting. Upon arrival, researchers will also be asked to fill out a registration form and provide photo identification.Use
Reproductions are made upon request but can be subject to restrictions. Permission to publish materials from the collection must currently be requested. Please note that some materials may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the researcher's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information contact rarebks@library.rochester.eduCitation
[Item title, item date], Charles Kean papers, D.30, Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of RochesterRelated Materials
Dictionary of National Biography

Cole, J.W. -- Life and Theatrical Times of Charles Kean

Carson, W.G.B.-- Letters of Mr. and Mrs Charles Kean Relating to their American Tours

Hardwick, J.M.D. -- Emigrant in Motley


Administrative Information
Author: Finding aid prepared by Rare Books and Special Collections staff
Publisher: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester
Address:
Rush Rhees Library
Second Floor, Room 225
Rochester, NY 14627-0055
rarebks@library.rochester.edu
URL:


Content List
Box 1, Folder 1Correspondence, 1826-1835
Box 1, Folder 2Correspondence, 1836-1838
Box 1, Folder 3Correspondence, 1839-1843
Box 1, Folder 4Correspondence, 1844-1845
Box 1, Folder 5Correspondence, 1846-1847
Box 1, Folder 6Correspondence, 1848-1849
Box 1, Folder 7Correspondence, 1850-1853
Box 1, Folder 8Correspondence, 1854-1856
Box 1, Folder 9Correspondence, 1857-1859
Box 1, Folder 10Correspondence, 1860-1863
Box 1, Folder 11Correspondence, 1866-1868
Box 1, Folder 12Correspondence, 1874-1877
Box 1, Folder 13Undated correspondence
Box 1, Folder 14Undated fragments of letters
Box 1, Folder 15Henry Archdale. Signed baptismal certificate for Charles Kean, December 1, 1817
Box 1, Folder 16Bills for expenses at Eton, 1826-1827
Box 1, Folder 17Tickets for dress box at the Royal Princess Theatre, December 20, 1852
Box 1, Folder 18Newspaper clipping, "The Wife's Secret", January 1848
Box 1, Folder 19Manuscript copy of newspaper article "The Puff Conclusive," from the Melbourne Punch, November 19, 1863
Published in Hardwick--Emigrant in Motley, pp.95-96

Box 1, Folder 20The Wife's Secret: History of a Victorian Play, written by Ms. M. Glen Wilson


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