Dear Mr George
Pray oblige me by your acceptance
of the enclosed Admission to my Readings
Most truly yours,
19 South Audley Street
13th May 1844
Charles Kemble (1775 – 1854) was born into a family of actors at Brecon, South Wales, and was a younger brother of
John Philip Kemble, Stephen Kemble and Sarah Siddons. Like John Philip, he was educated at Douai. After returning to England
in 1792, he obtained a job in the post office, but soon resigned to go on the stage, making his first recorded appearance at
Sheffield as Orlando in As You Like It in that year. During the early part of his career as an actor he slowly gained
popularity. For a considerable time he played with his brother and sister, chiefly in secondary parts, and received little
His first London appearance was in 1794, as Malcolm to his brother's Macbeth. Ultimately he won independent fame.
His Laërtes and Macduff were as accomplished as his brother's Hamlet and Macbeth. His production of Cymbeline in 1827
inaugurated the trend to historical accuracy in stagings of that play that reached a peak with Henry Irving at the turn of the
In comedy he was ably supported by his wife, Marie Therese De Camp, whom he married on July 2, 1806. His visit, with his
daughter Fanny, to America during 1832 and 1834, aroused much enthusiasm. The later part of his career was beset by money
troubles in connection with his joint proprietorship of Covent Garden theatre. He formally retired from the stage in
December 1836, but his final appearance was on April 10, 1840. For some time he held the office of examiner of plays.
In 1844-1845 he gave readings from Shakespeare at Willis's Rooms (after 13th May, clearly). Macready regarded his Cassio as
incomparable, and summed him up as "a first-rate actor of second-rate parts."