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Fb2 Anything But Merry!: The Life and Times of Lily Elsie ePub

by David Slattery-Christy

Category: Arts and Literature
Subcategory: Memoris and Biographies
Author: David Slattery-Christy
ISBN: 1434368122
ISBN13: 978-1434368126
Language: English
Publisher: AuthorHouse UK (December 18, 2007)
Pages: 292
Fb2 eBook: 1867 kb
ePub eBook: 1173 kb
Digital formats: mobi txt azw doc

He tells Lily's story clearly and dispassionately. He has added mini-biographies about the most significant people in her life, notes about the theatres she played and a list of the shows she appeared in, but unfortunately no index.

He tells Lily's story clearly and dispassionately. His book is an important contribution to our understanding of Edwardes and the Gaiety Girls, one of the most glittering periods of London's theatre history. Richard Anthony Baker - The Stage.

Anything But Merry! book. See a Problem? We’d love your help. Details (if other): Cancel. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Anything But Merry!: The Life and Times of Lily Elsie. by. David Slattery-Christy.

Anything But Merry!: The Life and Times of Lily Elsie. Elsie's rise to fame as Sonia in Lehar's The Merry Widow in 1907, produced by Edwardes at Daly's Theatre, was achieved in spite of her lack of confidence and overwhelming stage fright that would leave her sick with nervous exhaustion and cause the press to accuse her of being "a part time actress" when she missed performances. Her image would endorse everything from toothpaste to face creams; the costumes and hats she wore for The Merry Widow were emulated everywhere.

The book includes the previously published biography 'Anything But Merry!' and also the screenplay 'The Last .

The book includes the previously published biography 'Anything But Merry!' and also the screenplay 'The Last Edwardian Star' adapted from the book. New foreword and added images. Edwardian Beauty - Lily Elsie & The Merry Widow. August 19 at 2:30 AM ·. Thank you for a lovely write up, Raymond Langford-Jones.

The Life and Times of Lily Elsie. by David Slattery-Christy. From her childhood days in the music halls of Salford and her rise to fame as the child singing star "Little Elsie" (hailed by press and public as "the infant Patti," after the world famous opera star Adelina Patti) to her arrival in London as a young woman.

Everyone agrees that Lily Elsie has the most kissable mouth in all England. Slattery-Christy, David. Anything But Merry!: The Life and Times of Lily Elsie, Authorhouse (2008). Strangely enough, the women of the land were among her most devoted admirers.

David Slattery-Christy. Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H). 0 x . 1 Inches.

Slattery-Christy, David. Anything But Merry!: The Life and Times of Lily Elsie, Authorhouse (2008) ISBN 1-4343-6812-2. Listing and description of Lily Elsie's shows. Excerpts from the memoirs of Lucy, Lady Duff-Gordon. 1904 interview of Lily Elsie. s photos of Elsie and image of her. Photos of Elsie, arranged by show. Photo of Elsie dressed as a man. With a foreword by Sonia Berry.

Discover the extraordinary life of one of Edwardian England's most celebrated and revered musical comedy stars, Lily Elsie. From her childhood days in the music halls of Salford and her rise to fame as the child singing star "Little Elsie" (hailed by press and public as "the infant Patti", after the world famous opera star Adelina Patti) to her arrival in London as a young woman. Her association with the most powerful theatre impresario of the time, George Edwardes, the father of the musical comedy genre, with his innovative and lavish productions at The Gaiety and Daly's Theatre. Her friends included Gertie Millar, the most powerful and luminous of the "Gaiety Girls". Elsie's rise to fame as Sonia in Lehar's The Merry Widow in 1907, produced by Edwardes at Daly's Theatre, was achieved in spite of her lack of confidence and overwhelming stage fright that would leave her sick with nervous exhaustion and cause the press to accuse her of being "a part time actress" when she missed performances. Her image would endorse everything from toothpaste to face creams; the costumes and hats she wore for The Merry Widow were emulated everywhere. Retiring from the stage in 1911 to marry a handsome and wealthy husband, she enjoyed a brief period of domestic harmony as Mrs Bullough. But it wasn't to last. The early signs of the paranoid neurosis and mental health problems which would overwhelm her in later years were already in evidence. She mastered the art of being reclusive long before Garbo took up the mantle. Her final years were spent in isolation, her personality eroded by her mental health problems. Elsie died alone in 1962, a tragic end to a life which had promised so much. In fact her life had been Anything But Merry from the very beginning.
Comments to eBook Anything But Merry!: The Life and Times of Lily Elsie
Kata
Lily Elsie was one of the bright stars of the Edwardian stage, and even now her beauty is evident in the popular postcards of her which survive from this period. Lily was the Original "Merry Widow" on the stage and it bought her unsought fame for a play which most people considered dubious before the opening night, but was one which made Lily's reputation. This is not a formal footnoted biography. Instead Lilly's life is written more like a very well researched novel for the reader. It gives a good flavor for the challenges of Lily's life and how truly unexpected her fame was and how hard she found it to handle with both a delicate physical and mental constitution.

Probably the saving grace of this book for most readers will be the back section which offers mini biographies of all the main people in Lily Elsie's life and a comprehensive biography of sources. This is not a thick book as documents for the private life of Elsie after she left the stage are scarce but it shines a light on lady whose postcards from the height of her fame fascinate even now. It was a life that succeeded on the stage despite physical and mental problems that meant she was really unsuited for it and it was one that ended in tragedy, but despite that this is an interesting read that is not too thick in theater jargon for those readers who don't know much about the Victorian and Edwardian theater scene.
Taulkree
Ok. Not real grabbing. I skimmed mostly. I would nit buy a hardback or paper
Dandr
David Slattery-Christy is a writer very much in tune with British society during the first half of the last century. His plays, including two based on true stories (Forever Nineteen, partly set in WW1 which he's currently hoping to revive for next year's centenary; and The Postcard, about an Irish immigrant on The Titanic) enjoyed runs in London and New York. Of special interest to Sardines readers, may be his excellent revised version of the libretto for the first of Ivor Novello's eight spectacular musicals, Glamorous Night (1935), in a way that makes it accessible for companies today.

Working on that, directing the celebratory 50th Anniversary Concert of Novello's life and work at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and acting as the Novello consultant on Robert Altman's Gosford Park, not to mention contributing to the BBC documentary Novello The Handsomest Man In Britain, has led to David developing a special bond with the ghost of Ivor Novello and his world. It has served him brilliantly with his two, well-researched biographies, of both Novello (In Search of Ruritania) and his contemporary Lily Elsie (Anything But Merry!)

David has an amazing gift for bringing back to life the bustle and allure of London's West End in the days of Daly's, The Gaiety and beyond; above all, the personalities who illuminated them whose charismas have very inadequately been captured by recordings. The DVD of Novello in the 1932 film of his play I Lived With You gives, perhaps, the best idea of his light, comedic touch; whilst only a few scratchy, mono recordings survive of Elsie's glorious voice.

To women of my mother's generation Novello was a god. Even if they'd heard - and then, understood - the rumours that he wasn't actually romantically involved with Gladys Cooper et al, but had a male partner, (though the word `Gay' was not used then) and bedded just about any attractive young man within his orbit, they brushed it aside, worshipping him for his looks, glamour and unique brand of escapism. The book sheds more light than ever before on the bohemian world of Novello, Coward and their contemporaries in a way that is both chatty - yet scholarly.

He makes a good case for Novello being the Andrew Lloyd Webber of his day, his popular, personality-dominated fare `filling the plush', making London theatre less elitist and available to a wider social spectrum than ever before. And he truly captures the soul of the man. The atmospheric description of his visit to Novello's house Redroofs in Berkshire, is particularly moving.

At last one has a good idea of the real Novello, freed from the damaging airbrushed portraits of earlier, sentimentalised biographies. The man was full of contradictions. For all his apparent chutzpah and charm, he had a depressive side, and despite a normally good business head, could be amazingly naïve and head-in-the-sand, as when he found himself with a prison sentence during WW2 for accepting illicit petrol from a fan.

Novello's soaring waltzes and ballads set to Christopher Hassall's romantic lyrics are, for me, a bit like Belgian truffles: two at a time are bliss, more a bit rich. But this is not to knock Novello's fine musicianship and range as a composer, which includes a wide variety of songs and music that has been shamefully undervalued and neglected. It didn't help that he died at the peak of his powers, aged 58, in 1951, after arriving home from playing the lead in his own Kings Rhapsody. Concurrently with that show at The Palace, his other musical Gay's the Word was running just up the road. This was a very different cuppa, with clever lyrics by Alan Melville showing Novello returning more to the witty revue style of his earlier years - whilst gently sending up, not only his own Ruritanian shows, but Oklahoma! and the new wave of slick American `musical plays'.

What might he have done next? Would he have been able to move with the times, or become a dodo - as Coward and Rattigan almost did before they were both rediscovered? We shall never know.

The adolescent Novello was a huge fan of Lily Elsie who made her name as Lehar's `Merry Widow' in 1907, going on to star also in A Waltz Dream, The Dollar Princess and The Count of Luxemburg. She later appeared opposite him in his play The Truth Game (1928). Older by then, but still very attractive, it was to be her final stage appearance.

You'd have thought such an incandescent performer would have been blessed with a fulfilling life. But she was riddled with demons, tormented by stage fright and even her hoped-for happily-ever-after with a handsome, wealthy husband, ended in tatters. In the 1950s she had a lobotomy in an attempt to save her fragile mental health, but it only helped destroy her personality further. Nevertheless, Anything But Merry! successfully evokes the world of the Edwardian operettas and musical comedies, and reminds us of the life of one of its glittering, yet sadly forgotten performers - and the sometimes incalculable price of fame.

For more information on David Slattery-Christy's plays and books:
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'Book Ends' Review by Raymond Langford-Jones for Sardines Theatre Magazine - July 2013
Mala
_"It looked as though the London premiere of Franz Lehar's operetta, The Merry Widow, was going to flop. Its producer, George Edwardes, was running out of money and his critics damned him for choosing Lily Elsie as the star.A fragile actress seized with stage fright, Elsie herself believed her voice was not strong enough for the role. In the event, The Merry Widow was a roaring success, which transformed Elsie's career. It ran for 778 performances, admirers showered her with jewellery and she was asked to promote everything from face cream to toothpaste. So, why is her first biography called Anything But Merry?

Firstly, the show made her ill, both physically and mentally. Secondly, men scared her. Her marriage, which was deeply unhappy, ended in divorce. Thirdly, as time went by, her mental health broke down completely, resulting in a dubious operation on her brain. She became a recluse and, in 1962, she died alone.

David Slattery-Christy has researched his work diligently. He tells Lily's story clearly and dispassionately. He has added mini-biographies about the most significant people in her life, notes about the theatres she played and a list of the shows she appeared in, but unfortunately no index.

His book is an important contribution to our understanding of Edwardes and the Gaiety Girls, one of the most glittering periods of London's theatre history."_

Richard Anthony Baker - The Stage
Gaxaisvem
As a collector or Edwardian theatre ephemera, especially of Miss Gabrielle Ray and Lily Elsie I was looking forward to reading something substantial about Elsie; however I was very disappointed with this book. I can't fault the diligence that Mr Slattery-Christy demonstrated with his research but the mix of fact and fiction left me bewildered and rather than produce a splendid biography we have an unhappy marriage that should end in a speedy divorce.
Leyl
Loved the way in which the story was presented. Very interesting read about one of the loveliest women of the Edwardian stage.
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