Actresses I have known
My 19th-century "blogger" is today musing on the theatre, and particularly the great actresses and actors she has seen on the London stage. Her considered favourite in terms of skill is Mrs Siddons:
I can hardly conceive anything finer than the expression which Mrs. Siddons gave to the simple reply, 'A deed without a name.’ [in the witches scene in Macbeth] It seemed full of all the guilty dread belonging to witchcraft; and it is just this idea of guilt which seems to be so difficult to convey to our minds, which are engrossed with the folly of the whole thing that we not recollect it was a sin.
But Miss Williams Wynn isn't above a bit of gossip, referring to the famous love affair of Miss Farren, which was recently turned into fiction:
"I recollect (not the admirable acting in the famous screen scene but) the circumstance of seeing Lord Derby leaving his private box to creep to her behind the scene; and, of course, we all looked with impatience for the discovery, hoping the screen would fall a little too soon, and show to the audience Lord Derby as well as Lady Teazle."
Also making an appearance are Madame de Stael, Miss O'Neill, Kemble and Talma. And the editor's note is interesting. Writing in the 1850s, he feels compelled to apologise for the seriousness with which Miss Williams Wynn takes her theatre. Obviously a respectable lady writing respectfully about actresses was something he had problems with.