Isaac and Ede Antique Prints
Halls Kean as Richard III

Charles Turner after J. Halls.

Mr. Kean in Richard the Third
Act IV Scene 4 – Well, as you guess

15 x 25¼ inches

''A horrid little man'' is how the actress Sarah Siddons first described Edmund Kean in 1807 and although she later mollified her views, she still proclaimed that there was ''too little of him to make a great actor''. He was inarguably short of stature and even though he liked a drink and was prone to outbursts of the most foul temper he went on to become the greatest tragedian of his age. His lucky break came in 1814, the year in which we see him, when the Drury Lane Theatre in need of something sensational to stave off bankruptcy spotted his potential and cast him as Shylock in The Merchant of Venice. Kean took the stage by storm and the theatre sold out. Iago, Macbeth and Richard III quickly followed and by March that year a frustrated Jane Austen was to write in a letter to her sister Cassandra that ''So great is the rage to see Kean that only a 3rd and 4th row could be got''.


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