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This listing is for three books: two biographies and a memoir, two actors and a playwright, all important to the development of the American theater. Please consult the drop down for price of all three; if you wish only one or two, please contact me for a custom listing.

Meet the Sweet Prince and the Prince of Players! Also a controversial playwright and man-about-town in theater circles. The three books deal with prominent theater people in America-- two famous actors and a playwright/critic who discussed them and dozens more of their peers.

(1) In Good Night, Sweet Prince by Gene Fowler celebrates the Life & Times of John Barrymore, which were troubled at best. This first edition hardcover book, published in 1944, is a thoughtful and generous biography by a friend who knew him well.
John Barrymore (1882-1942) was the most reluctant star in the famous Drew - Barrymore theater dynasty which lasted 100 years. Despite a weakness for women and alcohol, this actor, called "The Great Profile," gained popularity and success on the live stage, which he left for the movies -- and a steadily declining career.
This copy is in only fair condition. Without a dust jacket, but decorated with numerous sketches of Barrymore on the inside covers and fly leaves, the book has strong and firm binding. But it is worn at the top and bottom of the spine and at the corners of the cover.

(2)Edwin Booth (1833-1893), highly admired as the foremost actor of his period, is featured by his biographer, Eleanor Ruggles, as the Prince of Players. Among the several biographies of Booth, this one by Ruggles is highly regarded as a dramatic and personal study of the man, his family, his triumphs and disasters. The book has 17 illustrations including one of the three brothers (Edwin, John Wilkes, and Junius Jr.)
The book, a library copy, is in good condition. There is some shelf wear, but it is slight; only the top of the spine shows real wear. The binding is firm and without problems; the usual library imprints appear, and the dedication page has a 2 1/2 inch tear in it.

(3) These Things Are Mine, the autobiography of George Middleton, playwright, gossip and husband of the feminist Fola La Follette, is a 1947 first edition book.
Middleton (1880-1967) was a true New York theater-goer who knew everyone. Of his handful of plays, some were hits and some flops.
He wrote the touching feminist play entitled Nowadays - - which was too "hot" to be accepted by producers on Broadway but went through four editions when he published it. He believed in making his plays available to the public and persuaded his good friend Eugene O'Neill to publish his plays, which he did. Prior to this time on theater history playwrights were reluctant to have their plays published. David Belasco, a contemporary, is a prominent example.
Fola was the daughter of Robert La Follette, whose progressive ideas gained him a reputation in the US Congress, left his mark on the state of Wisconsin. With her, George proudly marched in the New York Feminist Parade.
This hardcover copy is in very good condition. There are almost no scuff marks on the cover, although the lower front edge and the rear back edge have been bruised. The inside is clean and the binding is firm. 24 illustrations enhance his text with photos including Belasco, Bernard Shaw, Barrie, O'Neill, Brieux and others.

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Players in the American Theater John Barrymore Edwin Booth George Middleton 3 books

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  • Vintage item from the 1940s
  • Materials: hardcover book, illustrations, paper
  • Only ships to United States from Maine, United States.
  • Feedback: 199 reviews
  • Favorited by: 65 people