Ellen Terry and her cat, “Boo Boo.” London: Henry Walter Barnett, 1922. Mark Samuels
Lasner Collection, on loan to the University of Delaware Library.
Famous Victorian actress Ellen Terry (1847-1928), widely regarded as one of the greatest stage performers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, formed the subject of a lecture by esteemed Professor of English Katharine Cockin, of the University of Hull (UK), on March 18.
The talk, titled “Ellen Terry: A Life in Letters,” examined the public persona and personal life of the famed actress, with a special focus on scandalous letters Terry exchanged with Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw. In addition to discussing the history of Terry’s fascinating life, Professor Cockin offered insights on her years of involvement in the publication of Terry’s collected letters. The audience of professors, librarians, graduate students, and community members enjoyed Cockin’s reflections on this unique type of academic work.
Professor Cockin, who holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Leicester, visited the University of Delaware to research the Ellen Terry-related holdings of the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, on loan to the University of Delaware Library. Cockin conducts interdisciplinary research in theatre history, literature, and the British women’s suffrage movement.
An iconic portrait of Ellen Terry portraying Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth, painted by John Singer Sargent, may be seen here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellen_Terry_as_Lady_Macbeth.