An Apology for the Life of James Fennell

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B. Blom, 1969 - 510 pages
In this book, English/American actor James Fennell recites the tale of his life. The facts are these: born in London in 1766, Fennel had a reasonable education at Bow, Eton College and Trinity College, Cambridge. His life at university was extravagant, so with extensive gambling debts he entered Lincoln's Inn. Unsuccessful there, he removed to Edinburgh in 1787, with a view to adopting the stage as a profession. He played six times in Edinburgh with some success, and accepted an engagement for the following season. Returning to London, he appeared at Covent Garden Theatre 12 October 1787 as Othello, and acted in other plays. In 1792 he married, and in 1793 he accepted an offer from the Philadelphia Theatre, and started for America. Between 1797 and 1806 he acted at many theatres in New York, Boston, and elsewhere without establishing a position. He gave readings and recitations at College Hall, Philadelphia, and for a time kept an academy at Charlestown, Massachusetts. In 1815, at the Chestnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia, he was allowed to attempt Lear, but his memory was gone. He died 14 June 1816.

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