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Look to the Lady: Sarah Siddons, Ellen Terry, and Judi Dench on the Shakespearean Stage (Georgia Southern University Jack N. and Addie D. Averitt Lecture Ser.) Hardcover – February 28, 2005

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Editorial Reviews


No one interested in Shakespeare and the theater could fail to enjoy McDonald's gracefully written and well-researched study of the careers of three of our greatest Shakespearean actresses. He tells their fascinating stories with a winning combination of anecdotal flair and critical perception.

(Professor Stanley Wells Chairman of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust)

Sarah Siddons. Ellen Terry. Judi Dench. Names with which to conjure, and McDonald's Look to the Lady does just that, bringing the three actors' presences and performances into a celebratory dialogue. Interweaving biographical details, theater history, and cultural commentary, McDonald tells a fascinating story that not only recounts how each actor prepares a role but also maps a trajectory that draws all three performers and their performances together, providing insight into a tradition of great Shakespearean acting. Lucidly and elegantly written, Look to the Lady makes delightful reading for theater scholars, cultural historians, and theater lovers―a wonderful performance in its own right.

(Barbara Hodgdon author of The Shakespeare Trade: Performances and Appropriations)

Actors are always talking about traditions, looking back to the great actors of the past and working out who has inherited their mantle. McDonald's wonderful new book traces the line of descent that links three of the greatest actresses ever: Sarah Siddons, Ellen Terry, and Judi Dench. With a superb and unusual combination of great scholarship and real panache, he makes us understand what that rare quality was that each possessed, that special unquantifiable something that so powerfully affected their audiences. Always a delight to read, Look to the Lady is a brilliant contribution to theater history, making us aware afresh of why each was so mesmerizing as Lady Macbeth and helping us make sense of what makes a star in the world of theater.

(Peter Holland McMeel Family Professor of Shakespeare Studies, University of Notre Dame)

McDonald’s prose is almost always clear, unpretentious, and grammatically correct, providing a welcome respite from the sloppy writing that mars too many books on theatre. . . . A worthwhile and entertaining book.

(Talkin' Broadway)

From the Publisher

Georgia Southern University Jack N. and Addie D. Averitt Lecture Series, No. 12

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