The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

Kate Bateman

Kate Bateman as 'Leah the Forsaken'

A carte-de-visite portrait of the American actress Kate Bateman (1842-1917), who enjoyed an enormous success on both sides of the Atlantic as the eponymous heroine of Leah the Forsaken, a play adapted specifically for Bateman by the young Augustin Daly from a melodrama then popular in Vienna. The plot concerned a Jewish girl in 17th-century Germany and her thwarted love for a young Christian farmer.

The play opened at Niblo’s Garden in New York on 19 January 1863 and immediately received an enthusiastic reception from the public, despite some terrible reviews. Bateman became identified with the role of Leah and theatregoers long remembered her emotional performance and ‘the bloodcurdling curse she hurled at her faithless Christian lover’. The play came to London later the same year, where it played at the Adelphi for 211 nights. It remained Bateman's primary dramatic vehicle for many years.

Photographed by Napoleon Sarony of Birmingham.


Code: 125168
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© Paul Frecker 2018