Wednesday, December 07, 2005
A Dazzling Regency Actress...
I was recently reading about the Regency theatre and the career of actresses on the Regency stage, and I came across Louisa Brunton. Louisa is the real life inspiration for characters such as Cicely in Clare Darcy’s book of the same name and many other Regency heroines who as actresses go on to marry a rich and titled hero.
Louisa was born in 1785 and went on the stage when she was eighteen years old, winning rave reviews in the Theatrical Inquisitor magazine, where she was described as ‘extremely handsome and striking.’ She appeared in many performances at Covent Garden Theatre until December 1807, when she retired from the stage to marry the Earl of Craven. She was accepted in society although they apparently looked rather askance at her previous profession! The Earl was said to dote on her and after his death she lived at his Berkshire estates in great style, travelling to and from church in a carriage drawn by four matching pure white horses! It sounds as though she retained a taste for the theatrical even when she was a respectable Countess!