The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

Marion Terry

Marion Terry

A Woodburytype portrait of the British actress Marion Terry (1854-1930), younger sister of Ellen Terry.

According to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, she was ‘[a]lways in the shadow of her older and more famous sister Ellen,’ but ‘was nevertheless at the top of her profession, which she took with the greatest seriousness. Her reputation came from her beauty, poise, rich voice, natural refinement, devotion to hard work, and ability to create a wide range of convincing characters from the high comedy of the modern repertory, a comedy of sets and costumes as elegant as the actress herself. Unlike Ellen, she performed little Shakespeare, and appeared in only a handful of his plays. She possessed all the charm and grace of her sisters, but not Ellen's power of pathos, and she was not a tragic actress. She was sometimes accused of over-intellectuality, but her strength was in the sparkle, charm, and sweet emotional simplicity of good comic writing and character creation. Off the stage she was reserved, believing that the all too public life of the actress should be kept entirely apart from her private life, and she firmly adhered to the accepted moral and social standards of her time.

Photographer unidentified.


Code: 124660
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