Now to the Drama turn - Oh! motley sight!


Bequest of Evert Jansen Wendell, 1918 – HTC 31.087

Though now, thank Heaven! the Rosciomania’s o’er,
And full-grown actors are endured once more.

Charles Williams. The Genius of Theatricals Bringing John Bull to His Senses!!! (London, 1806).

The child actor William Henry West Betty (1791-1874), known as the “Young Roscius,” captivated theatregoers for several seasons before adolescence ended his career. This satirical print depicts the leading actors of the day, Charles Kemble and Sarah Siddons, driving Betty off the stage to the chagrin of an awakening John Bull: “Is that the Pigmy I was so much attached to! why he appears no bigger than a pinshead!!”