Stage Door Johnnies and Gaiety Girls
June 13, 2012 7:27 PM   Subscribe

Stars of the Edwardian Stage is a compendium of the beauties that have graced English theatres.

Actress obsessives
Kaluga (Russia), September, 1902 - Eighteen-year-old Count Paul Kermervic became obsessed with Theodora Efimova, a beautiful actress twelve years his senior. The young man began to follow the actress from town to town, pestering her for many weeks to agree to an assignation, but the lady consistently refused his advances. Driven mad by jealously, at Kaluga he armed himself with a revolver and took a box in the theatre where the lady was appearing. Midway through the performance, whilst the actress was singing a love song, he stood up and fired at her, striking her in the heart and killing her instantly in full view of the horrified audience. The assailant was immediately arrested.
Actresses and the Peerage
The one way in which the dignity of that house can be maintained is by the personal prestige and unquestionable fitness of its members for the exalted position that they hold. And that prestige — indeed, the very existence of the lords as anything but a mockery and a laughing stock — is threatened by a development of recent years which every day grows to greater and more menacing proportions. We refer to the increasing number of unions between hereditary peers and ladies of inferior station — mesalliances which strike at the very heart of the whole reason d'etre of the House of Lords.
An example: May Yohe and Lord Hope.

Also of interest — Messages on the postcards:
Dear Albert
Just a line to thank you for your PC's which were very nice.

ne xyuiyhg orggoy trio. hl nume gsumph xuio zli elais gsrh mlin. un hymxrmt u wuix glxue umx cirgrmt glnliile kyg zli hamxue. csug u sliirx xue xuclrmt. vy cuiyzao rz ela tl gl vlxymsun glnliile xuiormt unx mlg tyg cyg. ollprmt zlicuix gl gsrh grny mydg cyyp olby urmg ela. r xlmg gsrmp. ydkywg gsye croo cliie ela uvlag gsug hrmtrmt xyuiyhg vag vy zrin wsuop gsyn lzz. rg rh tllx lz ela gl hymx gsy kukyi glxue olby croo tl ak fli rg. cyoo xuiormt nrmy zlmxyhg olby unx prhhyh uocueh elaih vymmry.
ml kukyi wlny xyui 5.30pm
–– 7.15.20 13.25 9
Am going home for week and you know what takes me. There was an awful smell of burning in Mitchell St. last night. Were you making toffee again. C.B.
posted by unliteral (8 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

Great find. And that "obsessives" page is pretty shocking; I had no idea that many actresses had wound up in murder, suicide, or murder/suicide situations.
posted by OolooKitty at 9:38 PM on June 13, 2012

Love this website. Thanks for the find.
Some of the lords and actresses names appear to be straight out of GIlbert and Sullivan or, perhaps, "The Pearl". Carrie Coote married Sir William Pearce? Rosie Boot and the Marquis of Headfort?
posted by Isadorady at 10:43 PM on June 13, 2012

Without my glasses, I thought: Edwardian IP addresses?
posted by kengraham at 8:21 AM on June 14, 2012 [2 favorites]

The pix of melt-you-into-mush heartthrob Ellen Terry don't do her justice. This one comes closer. 'Pictures of Lily' indeed.
posted by jfuller at 8:36 AM on June 14, 2012

About one of the obsessives stories:
Count Arthur Pallavicini, a handsome young Hungarian nobleman only 21 years of age, committed suicide in a case of unrequited love. The object of his desire was Ethel Barrison, one of the five Barrison sisters [...]
According to wiki:
In their most famous act, the sisters would dance, raising their skirts slightly above their knees, and ask the audience, "Would you like to see my pussy?" When they had coaxed the audience into an enthusiastic response, they would raise up their skirts, revealing [photo]
There was a post about them here in 2005.
posted by pracowity at 10:05 AM on June 14, 2012 [3 favorites]

London (England), August 8th, 1907 - Shirley Falcke, the eighteen year old son of a wealthy American Industrialist had become infatuated with the beautiful actress Iris Hoey, whom he met and befriended in a Strand restaurant. When his father arranged to send him to Canada to part him from Miss Hoey, he arranged to meet her for supper and, in a fit of melancholy, declared his intention to kill himself. Fearing for his safety, Miss Hoey refused to allow him to journey home alone. During the cab ride however, Falcke suddenly produced a revolver and put it to his head. Miss Hoey tried to pull his hand away but he snatched it free and instantyl shot himself. His last words, to a policeman who arrived on the scene, were "I did it all myself".

And then Shirley Falcke miraculously revived and: married Mary Ruth Kinder, daughter of William Kinder, on 8 July 1914. He and Mary Ruth Kinder were divorced in 1922.
He then went on to marry this beauty.
He also bought a fiddle in 1927.
posted by Floydd at 11:14 AM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Madame Dallemagne, who had a child by Merlou (which had died from Tuberculosis), had shot and wounded that gentleman in a seperate incident two years earlier. She had been acquitted of attempted murder on that occasion under an unwritten French law that excuses a wronged woman for shooting her betrayer.
Wait, what?
posted by Adridne at 8:21 AM on June 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

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