Memoirs of the Life of Charles Macklin, Esq.: Volume 2: Principally Compiled from his Own Papers and Memorandums by James Thomas Kirkman
Drawing on his own papers and first published in 1799, this two-volume account traces the colourful life of the actor and playwright Charles Macklin (c.1699-1797). His long career serves as the focal point in a history of the eighteenth-century theatre and its most celebrated performers. Hailed for his enduring interpretation of Shakespeare's Shylock, a role he played for some fifty years, Macklin has been credited with the theatre's move towards realism. His life was just as dramatic offstage, marked as it was by a series of controversies and fierce rivalries. In 1735 he was convicted of the manslaughter of a fellow actor in a quarrel over a wig, and in 1775 he successfully pressed charges of conspiracy against theatregoers who had rioted during his performances. Volume 2 covers the latter part of Macklin's career up to his death. Also included is a selection of letters written to his son.