Sir George Alexander | Hugh Laurie (oh christ, this is /not/ working on my presentation..)

sir george alexander. doing ACTING.

sir george alexander. doing ACTING.

his first name is actually james, selon imdb.

his first name is actually 'james', selon imdb.

Further to Augustus Harris becoming my dead theatrical Jewish MASONIC boyfriend (he worked himself to death at 44, people! On pantomimes that lasted SIX HOURS! He used to fall off the stage during dress rehearsals! He was awesome, I have pages just on him), I have also discovered that the man who played the first Lord Windermere in Wilde’s Lady Windermere’s Fan, and the first Jack Worthing in The Importance of Being Earnest, Sir George ‘now, look here Oscar’ Alexander, is the great-great-uncle of Hugh Laurie. According to IMDB, but I really want to believe it’s true! They’re both of Scottish descent! And George Alexander had a sister, the Oxford DNB says so!

Alexander was also the first Tanqueray in The Second Mrs Tanqueray (1893) (pictures are from the 1916 film. I need this film). I know nobody cares, but, damnit, this is what helps to make my degree worthwhile… he was a total fascist with his wife! But she was his manager and ran his life, I think. There’s this really sweet and appallingly-written memoir at the back of A. E. W. Mason’s biography of George. She used to buy all the flowers and arrange them herself for the St James’s shows (oh, yes, Alexander also ran the theatre. He was effectively what we’d now call the director – then the producer – for the above plays). Lady Alexander used, on first nights, to get her own round of applause simply for entering her box. Sir G also had some appalling rows with Wilde on the subject of his plays, and once entered into a conspiracy with a conservative theatre critic to get him to change a plot…. and back to my presentation.

3 thoughts on “Sir George Alexander | Hugh Laurie (oh christ, this is /not/ working on my presentation..)

    1. clamorousvoice Post author

      Thanks very much, I will – it doesn’t seem to be in the Bod, however, can you advise me? I’m intrigued.


  1. The Bard

    It seens the only copy in the UK is at Birkbeck (according to WorldCat)–Broadview is a Canadian publisher. Below is the table of contents, the Items on Alexander are C7, C8 which you can find in the relevant pages of the Times. You’ll find Pinero turned up as a character witness for G.A.


    Arthur Wing Pinero: A Brief Chronology

    A Note on the Text

    The Second Mrs. Tanqueray: A Play in Four Acts

    Appendix A: Pinero on Drama

    1. From T.H.L., “How I Construct My Plays: A Chat with Mr. Pinero,” Sketch (1893)
    2. Pinero, “The Modern British Drama,” Theatre (June 1895)
    3. From Pinero, Robert Louis Stevenson: The Dramatist (1903)
    4. From William Archer, Real Conversations (1904)
    5. From Pinero, “Robert Browning as a Dramatist,” Browning’s Centenary (1912)
    6. From Pinero, “Foreword,” Two Plays (1930)

    Appendix B: The Second Mrs. Tanqueray, The Golden Butterfly, and the Albany

    Appendix C: Social Background

    1. From Caroline Norton, A Letter to the Queen on Lord Chancellor Cranworth’s Marriage and Divorce Bill (1855)
    2. From the Divorce and Matrimonial Act (1857)
    3. From John Ruskin, “Of Queens’ Gardens” (1865)
    4. Eliza Lynn Linton, “The Girl of the Period,” Saturday Review (14 March 1868)
    5. From A. St. John Adcock, “Leaving the London Theatres,” Living London (1901)
    6. From Emily Constance Cook, “The London Season,” London and Environs (1897-98)
    7. “Police,” The Times (5 November 1895)
    8. “The Charge Against Mr. George Alexander,” The Times (6 November 1895)
    9. “School Teacher’s Suicide: Letters from a Married Man,” The Times (29 June 1920)

    Appendix D: Contemporary Reactions to The Second Mrs. Tanqueray

    1. L.F.A., Illustrated London News (3 June 1893)
    2. William Archer,World (31 May 1893)
    3. Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News (3 June 1893)
    4. Punch (10 June 1893)
    5. Saturday Review (3 June 1893)
    6. T.H.L., “A Chat with Mrs. Patrick Campbell,” Sketch (7 June 1893)
    7. From Yorkshire Post (22 September 1893)
    8. From T.W.M. Lund, The Second Mrs. Tanqueray: What? And Why? (1894)
    9. From Bernard Shaw, Saturday Review (23 February 1895)
    10. From H. Barton Baker, History of the London Stage and Its Famous Players (1576-1903) (1904)

    Appendix E: Dramatic Techniques

    1. The Original Closing Scene to Pinero’s The Profligate (1889)
    2. The Performed Closing Scene of the First Production of The Profligate (1889)
    3. From Henry Arthur Jones, Act 4, The Liars (1897)

    Select Bibliography



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