BookLovers of Bath

Beautiful books… for beautiful people…

Gielgud: A Theatrical Life 1904-2000 - Jonathan Croall

Methuen & Co., 2000, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Gently bruised at the head of the spine and top corners with commensurate ruffling to the dust wrapper. Previous owners' inscription to the first blank. Pages lightly age-tanned.

Illustrated with black and white photographs. From the cover: “On his death John Gielgud was widely acclaimed as the greatest classical actor of the twentieth century, and the finest modern interpreter of Shakespeare. This biography is the first to cover in full an astonishing career, spanning nearly eighty years in films, radio, television and the theatre.

For his entertaining, critical and widely researched book Jonathan Croall has talked in detail to more than a hundred friends and colleagues who worked with Gielgud. They include actors such as Alec Guinness, John Mills, Dorothy Turin, Dirk Bogarde, Sarah Miles, Peter Ustinov, Virginia McKenna, Richard Briers, Anna Carteret and Michael Pennington; the playwrights Edward Albee, Christopher Fry, David Storey and Charles Wood; directors such as Peter Brook, William Gaskill and John Schlesinger; and the designers Tanya Moiseiwitsch, Jocelyn Herbert, and Margaret Harris of Motley.

The book captures vividly Gielgud’s childhood amongst his famous Terry relations, his early struggles as a young actor, and his triumphs in Shakespeare at the Old Vie under Lilian Baylis. It highlights his trail-blazing achievements as a director and actor-manager in the 1930s and 1940s, and looks at the influence on his work of key figures such as J.B. Pagan, Nigel Playfair, Theodore Komisarjevsky, Michel Saint-Denis and, above all, Harley Granville-Barker. It reveals how he courageously overcame a humiliating scandal to re-invent himself in the work of the new playwrights of the 1960s and 1970s, and ends with a fascinating account of his late flowering as an Oscar-winning movie star.

It also provides a revealing picture of his celebrated rivalry with Laurence Olivier, his deep friendship with Ralph Richardson, his scintillating stage partnerships with Peggy Ashcroft and Edith Evans, and his profound influence on younger actors such as Alec Guinness, Michael Redgrave and Paul Scofield.

Gielgud emerges as a man of conflicting qualities: proud and modest, sensitive and tactless, ambitious and unselfish, daring and insecure. His wit, humanity and dedication to the theatre shine through this compelling portrait of a remarkable and much-loved man.”

Size: 9½" x 6¼". Black boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. [XII] 579 pages.

This one has already found a new owner.