"The Weekly Record," Howitt's Journal, Vol 1, 1847

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"The Weekly Record," Howitt's Journal, Vol 1, 1847


Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876
Actors and Actresses
Actors and Actresses--US American
Actors and Actresses--English


Charlotte Cushman is listed among the "representatives of the best portion of American artists" that are a transatlantic product of "true simplicity, such genuine worth, and so natural a possession of the noblest poetic temperament." This characterization of American artists from an English perspective is remarkable.


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Mr. Dempster, the American vocalist.—The United States of America continue to send us over not only cotton and flour, but rich contributions to our means of entertainment. There is something in the character of these contributions that is extremely gratifying;-a native simplicity, a spirit of pure intellect and poetry, which come like a breeze from a transatlantic forest, like a sudden view of a far-western champaign, or the rolling strength of one of their great rivers. There are those who go to witness the power and passion of Miss Cushman, who complain that she has not softness and finish enough for them; there are those who listened to the Hutchinsons who exclaimed, “Oh, there is no science there !” there will be those who will go to listen to Mr. Dempster, who will make the wonderful discovery that he is not Tamburini, or Lablache. We should be sorry to find that Miss Cushman, or the Hutchinsons, or Mr. Dempster, were anything but what they are. They are representatives of the best portion of American artists. They make no pretensions to the superb accomplishment of Europe; they do not carry coals to Newcastle all the way from the Alleghanies; they do not bring the finest quavers from Alabama, or the most long-drawn or high-soaring flights of song from Buffalo. They know better. They bring us that which we need, and not that which we do not need,— soul, and thought, and simple truth, and a sentiment deep and pure as the springs of their forest hills. We have heard a great deal from our travellers of the conceit, and the 'cute impertinence of Americans; how delightful is it then to find in all the parties just named the very opposite of those qualities. To find, as we do, such true simplicity, such genuine worth, and so natural a possession of the noblest poetic temperament. In them we discover, the total absence of that worldly knowingness which so much repels us in actors and singers who have lived too much amongst the crowds and the lamp smoke of London. There is a delightful freshness about them; a love of the beautiful and the noble, which gives a charin to their acting or their singing, which we fail to feel in many others of far higher pretension. We are becoming fastidious towards art without sentiment; we long for the earnest expres sion of the true, the beautiful, and the tender; and seem it a singular assertion, as it may, we can perceive already, that the entertainments of Mr. Dempster will be marked by the presence of that portion of the public who possess a high and pure taste, rather than by that of the ordinary worshippers of the names in vogue. We have had the pleasure to be present at the two con certs already given by him at the Princess's Concert Room, and his second was not only extremely well attended, but by an audience which showed a true and rapturous appreciation of the beauty and the soul of the performance. The music is wholly of Mr. Dempster's composition; the "May Queen," by Alfred Tennyson, and others sung by the Hutchinsons, being from his hand. Amongst his most beautiful songs, we would mention the “Indian's Lament,” the words by Eliza Cook; “John Anderson my Jo;” the “Blind Boy;” and Tennyson’s “May Queen,” a splendid cantata in three parts. We have also had the pleasure of hearing in private the "Dying Child," one of Mrs. Howitt's "Lyrics of Life," to which he has composed one of the most thrilling, and we will venture to say, sublime melodies which we ever heard. We foresee for Mr. Dempster a great popularity with the true lovers of genuine music.


Hathi Trust, https://hdl.handle.net/2027/iau.31858046249078. Accessed 29 July, 2020.


London, UK

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“"The Weekly Record," Howitt's Journal, Vol 1, 1847,” Archival Gossip Collection, accessed May 19, 2024, https://archivalgossip.com/collection/items/show/415.

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