MARY ANNE KEELEY Autograph Letter Signed.
British (English) actress. Best known for the 'breeches' role of the jail-breaker, Jack Sheppard - the play that was banned by the Lord Chamberlain.
ALS. (Signed with initials). 1p. No place, no date. To Mr Spence [?].
"A thousand apologies. Yes, most certainly I will help to devour the Turkey on Friday. Wishing you a merry Xmas, ever yours to all eternity, M.A.K.".
12mo. Approx 6 x 4 inches. Remains of old mounting hinge to verso, else near fine.
Mary Anne Keeley, the daughter of an Ipswich tinker, made her London stage debut in the OPERA 'Rosina' 1825. She was soon spotted as a character actress of extraordinary power and versatility and with Robert Keeley (who she had married in 1829) she acted at the Adelphi with Buckstone, at the Haymarket with Charles Kean and toured America with Macready. She created the roles of Nydia in Bulwer-Lytton's The Last Days of Pompeii and Smike in Charles Dickens Nicholas Nickleby. She played Harrison Ainsworth's Jack Sheppard (a breeches role) to huge popular acclaim. However, the authorities considered her portrayal of this prison-breaking felon so dangerous, that the play was closed by the Lord Chamberlain.