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Old 03-27-2017, 06:58 PM
TradeName TradeName is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 569

Funny you should mention Helen Keller, Pat. It seems that it was the husband of Anne Sullivan who brought the pre-publication information about William Stone Booth to Mark Twain.

Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 3: The Complete and Authoritative Edition (Oakland: University of California Press, 2015), Pages 299-300
by Mark Twain

"Well, two or three weeks from now a bombshell will fall upon us which may possibly woundily astonish the human race! For there is secretly and privately a book in press in Boston, by an English clergyman, which may unhorse Shakespeare permanently and put Bacon in the saddle. Once more the acrostic will be in the ascendant, and this time it may be that some people will think twice before they laugh at it. That wonder of wonders, Helen Keller, has been here on a three days' visit with her devoted teachers and protectors Mr. and Mrs. John Macy, and Macy has told me about the clergyman's book and bound me to secrecy."

Links to some publications of the London Bacon Society.

Journal of the Bacon Society, Volume 1, (London: George Redway,1886-1888), link

Journal of the Bacon Society, Volume 2 (London: Robert Banks, 1888-1891), link

Baconiana, Volume 1 New Series (London: Robert Banks, 1893), link

Baconiana, Volume 2 New Series (London: Robert Banks, 1894), link

Baconiana, Volume 3 New Series (London: Robert Banks, 1895), link

Baconiana, Volume 4 New Series (London: Robert Banks, 1896), link

Baconiana, Volume 5 New Series (London: Robert Banks, 1897), link

Baconiana, Volume 6 New Series (London: John Hodges, 1898), link

Baconiana, Volumes 7 New Series (London: Robert Banks, 1899), link

Baconiana, Volumes 8 New Series (London: Robert Banks, 1900), link

Baconiana, Volumes 9 New Series (London: Robert Banks, 1901), link

Baconiana, Volume 1 Third Series (Lonodn: Gay & Bird, 1903), link

Baconiana, Volume 2 Third Series (Lonodn: Gay & Bird, 1904), link

Baconiana, Volume 3 Third Series (Lonodn: Gay & Bird, 1905), link

Baconiana, Volume 4 Third Series (Lonodn: Gay & Bird, 1906), link

Baconiana, Volume 5 Third Series (Lonodn: Gay & Bird, 1907), link

Baconiana, Volume 6 Third Series (Lonodn: Gay & Bird, 1908), link
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Old 03-28-2017, 10:14 AM
Mayerling Mayerling is offline
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Flushing, New York
Posts: 2,651

Mr. John Macy was a prominent critic and writer on American literature. I have read a book by him about the most important American writers of the 19th Century. Hence his relationship (outside of Annie Sullivan Macy and Helen Keller) with Clemens (Twain).
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Old 04-02-2017, 06:22 PM
TradeName TradeName is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 569

Thanks, Jeff.

Henry Irving's name came up now and again in the discussions of the Bacon/Shakespeare controversy. In 1888, an 8 volume "Henry Irving edition" of the Shakespeare plays began publishing.

In his memoirs of Irving, Bram Stoker mentions H. H. Kohlsaat as a "close and valued friend" of Irving and Stoker, and relates an anecdote about Kohlsaat and Conan Doyle. Kohlsaat bought the Chicago Times-Herald very shortly before that paper ran the April 28, 1895, article about R. J. Lees and JtR.

The Henry Irving Shakespeare

The Works of William Shakespeare, Volume 1 London: Blackie & Son, 1888), link
by William Shakespeare, Henry Irving, Frank A. Marshall, Edward Dowden

The Works of William Shakespeare, Volume 2 (London: Blackie & Son, 1888), link
by William Shakespeare, Henry Irving, Frank A. Marshall, Edward Dowden

The Works of William Shakespeare, Volume 3 (London: Blackie & Son, 1889), link
by William Shakespeare, Henry Irving, Frank A. Marshall, Edward Dowden

The Works of William Shakespeare, Volume 4 (London: Blackie & Son, 1888), link
by William Shakespeare, Henry Irving, Frank A. Marshall, Edward Dowden

The Works of William Shakespeare, Volume 5 (London: Blackie & Son, 1889), link
by William Shakespeare, Henry Irving, Frank A. Marshall, Edward Dowden

The Works of William Shakespeare, Volume 6 (London: Blackie & Son, 1889), link
by William Shakespeare, Henry Irving, Frank A. Marshall, Edward Dowden

The Works of William Shakespeare, Volume 7 (London: Blackie & Son, 1890), link
by William Shakespeare, Henry Irving, Frank A. Marshall, Edward Dowden

The Works of William Shakespeare, Volume 8 (London: Blackie & Son, 1890), link
by William Shakespeare, Henry Irving, Frank A. Marshall, Edward Dowden

Notice of Kohlsaat's purchase of the Chicago Times-Herald.

New York Times, April 21, 1895, abstract link, PDF link

TWO CHICAGO NEWSPAPERS SOLD; H.H. Kohlsaat Gets Control of the Times-Herald and Post -- Will Oppose the Free Coinage of Silver.

CHICAGO, April 20. -- The control of The Times-Herald and Evening Post passed into the hands of Herman H. Kohlsaat, formerly publisher of The Inter-Ocean, this afternoon, and he assumed charge of the consolidated journal to-night. [...]

Stoker's anecdote about Kohlsaat.

Personal Reminiscences of Henry Irving, Volume 1 (London: William heinneman, 1906), Pages 249-251
By Bram Stoker

In the first week of the tour at the Princes Theatre, Bristol, on September 21, 1894, A Story of Waterloo was given. The matter was one of considerable importance in the dramatic world; not only was Irving to play a new piece, but that piece was Conan Doyle's first attempt at the drama. The chief newspapers of London and some of the greater provincial cities wished to be represented on the occasion; the American press also wished to send its critical contingent. Accordingly we arranged for a special train to bring the critical force. Hearing that so many of his London journalistic friends were coming an old friend of living's then resident in Bristol, Mr. John Saunders, arranged to give a supper in the Liberal Club, to which they were all invited, together with many persons of local importance.

The play met with a success extraordinary even for Irving. The audience followed with rapt attention and manifest emotion, swaying with the varying sentiments of the scene. The brief aid to memory in my diary of that day runs:

"New play enormous success. H. I. fine and great. All laughed and wept. Marvellous study of senility. Eight calls at end."

Unfortunately the author was not present to share the triumph, for it would have been a delightful memory for him. He was on a tour in America; "and thereby hangs a tale."

Amongst the audience who had come specially from London was Mr. H. H. Kohlsaat, owner and editor of the Chicago Times Herald, a close and valued friend of Irving and myself. He was booked to leave for America the next day. When the play was over and the curtain finally down, he hurried away just in time to catch the train for Southampton, whence the American Line boat started in the morning. He got on board all right. The following Saturday he arrived in New York, just in time to catch the "flyer," as they call the fast train to Chicago on the New York Central line. On Sunday night a public dinner was given to Conan Doyle, to which of course Kohlsaat had been bidden. He arrived too late for the dining part; but having dressed in the train he came on to the hotel just as dinner was finished and before the speeches began. He took a chair next to Doyle and said to him:

"I am delighted to tell you that your play at Bristol was an enormous success!"

"So I am told," said Doyle modestly. "The cables are excellent."

"They are not half enough!" answered Kohlsaat, who had been reading in the train the papers for the last week.

"Indeed! I am rejoiced to hear it!" said Conan Doyle somewhat dubiously. "May I ask if you have had any special report?"

"I didn't need any report, I saw it!"

"Oh, 'come!" said Conan Doyle, who thought that he was in some way chaffing him. "That is impossible!"

"Not to me! But I am in all human probability the only man on the American continent who was there!" Then whilst the gratified author listened he gave him a full description of the play and the scene which followed it.


An article about a Doyle appearance in Chicago in 1894.

Chicago Tribune, October 27, 1894, Page 1, Column 3

Speaks of His Pen

A. Conan Doyle Delivers a Lecture about Himself

Last edited by TradeName : 04-02-2017 at 06:32 PM.
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Old 04-17-2017, 06:22 PM
TradeName TradeName is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 569

The only thing I could find about Henry Irving's attitude toward spiritualism was that he gave some performances aimed at debunking the Davenport brothers.

Henry Irving: A Biographical Sketch (London: David Bouge, 1883), Pages 81-85
by Austin Brereton



The exposure, at this period (February, 1865), of the imposture of the notorious Davenport Brothers was a somewhat remarkable episode in which Irving had a leading part. During the winter of 1864-65, the whole of credulous England was disturbed by the statements made by these men, and the effects which they produced in their "dark seances," pretending to be based on occult spiritual power, were beginning to have a very deleterious effect on certain classes. It was openly claimed by the showman of the party, the notorious Reverend Doctor Ferguson, that the effects produced were manifestations of the Divine power. In several towns there had almost been riots, and two very strong currents of public feeling ran in opposite directions. Hitherto it had been found impossible to detect the imposture; the nearest approach being the failure of the brothers to untie themselves caused in Liverpool by the adaptation by the tying committee of the "tom-fool" knot. Manchester had been invaded by the tricksters, and the number of the dupes had swelled immensely. The feeling of the adverse faction was caught and crystallised into action by the invention and skill of Henry Irving, and his friends Mr. Frederick Maccabe and Mr. Phillip Day. Irving was attracted to the seance by the public interest awakened, and after seeing the effect produced, determined to expose the shameful impostures; to the manner of doing it he was probably incited by the remarkable appearance and unctuous delivery of the Reverend Doctor Ferguson. Having pondered over the means possible of producing the "effects" by which the Davenport Brothers produced such startling results, he secured the aid of his two friends, the result being a private performance before some friends at a popular club. The effort was so successful that the news got abroad. The club entertainment became an open secret, and the performers were asked to give a repetition in some place capable of holding a large number of the persons interested in the question. Accordingly, on the afternoon of Saturday, February 25th, 1865, the Library Hall of the Manchester Athenaeum was crowded with an intelligent audience, to witness a display of "preternatural philosophy" in a "private Seance a la Davenport," provided by some well-known members of the theatrical profession then playing in the city. The proceedings were commenced by Mr. Henry Irving, who was loudly applauded on making his appearance. He said:

"Ladies and Gentlemen,—-In introducing to you our experiments in what we, perhaps, have ostentatiously called 'preternatural philosophy,' I propose to explain to you as briefly as possible how this meeting has taken place, and the end we have in view in giving this semi-public stance. The performance of the Davenport Brothers was of a nature to fill some minds with wonderment, some to puzzle and perplex, whilst many who would not own to either took to derision and laughter. Three gentlemen, two of whom I shall have the honour of introducing to you [Mr. Irving himself being one of the three], proved exceptions to what appears to have been the rule in the Davenport audiences. They were neither astonished, perplexed, nor bewildered, nor did they content themselves by treating the affair with levity, but in a matter-of-fact way they said, 'Here are effects apparently marvellous; there is no effect without a cause; these things are done somehow. If they are done by a supernatural power we cannot accomplish the same; but if by a natural power, why then we can also—-if we discover the somehow. Acting upon this, and beginning with the first axiom in Euclid, that the nearest way from one given point to another is by a straight line, they procured a line, and proceeded like two philosophers to experimentalise. The result was a complete knowledge of the somehow, and a full discovery of the trick. At a social gathering some ten days ago (prior to the rather rough and unsatisfactory Liverpool demonstration), a few friends were amused by a burlesque stance a la Davenport, in which I had rather the equivocal honour of impersonating a certain reverend doctor. The result was so complete a reproduction of all the phenomena, that a committee was formed for the purpose of holding this assembly in which our object is something more than mere amusement. What do the band of brothers profess to teach? What purpose beyond lining their pockets with money do they desire to obtain? They indignantly declined to be called conjurors; and while not venturing to define what was the precise nature of the occult power they professed to exercise, they wished people to understand that they were in some way connected with spiritualism—-that, in their own words, they were producing a new hope for all mankind. So, ladies and gentlemen, if we can succeed in destroying the blasphemous pretensions of the unlicensed spirit dealers, our object will be attained, and this meeting will not have been held in vain. I will assume, as well as I am able, the appearance and manner of the doctor, and endeavour as hastily as possible to introduce him to you as our 'media.'"

The rapid assumption of a wig and beard, with a few artistic facial touches, a neckerchief of the approved sort, and a tightly buttoned surtout, soon changed Irving into an admirable "double" of the renowned Doctor Ferguson, who, be it always remembered, claimed to be not only the pastor of an existing church, but the Avatar of a new religion, of which spiritualism was the revelation. The resemblance was so striking as to cause immense amusement. Coming forward with the grave demeanour of his original, Irving delivered the following characteristic address, accompanying it with tone, accent, expression, and gesture which were irresistible in their ludicrous likeness to nature—-the nctuous showman being, in fact, exactly reproduced: —-

"Ladies and Gentlemen,—-In introducing to your notice the remarkable phenomena which have attended the gentlemen, who are not brothers—-(laughter)—-who are about to appear before you, I do not deem it necessary to offer any observations upon their extraordinary manifestations. I shall therefore at once commence a long rigmarole—-(laughter)—-for the purpose of distracting your attention, and filling your intelligent heads with perplexity. (Laughter.) I need not tell this enlightened audience of the gigantic discoveries that have and are being made in the unfathomable abyss of science. I need not tell this enlightened audience (because if I did they would not believe me), (Laughter.) I say I need not tell this enlightened audience that the manifestations they are about to witness are produced by occult power—-the meaning of which I don't clearly understand—-(laughter)-—but we simply bring before your notice facts, and from these you must form your own conclusions. (Hear, hear, and renewed laughter.) Concerning the early life of these gentlemen, columns of the most uninteresting description could be written. (Laughter.) I will mention one or two interesting facts connected with these remarkable men, and for the truth of which I personally vouch. In early life one of them, to the perfect unconcern of everybody else, was constantly and most unconsciously floating about his peaceful dwelling in the arms of his amiable nurse—-(laughter)—-while, on other occasions, he was frequently tied with invisible hands to his mother's apron strings. (Renewed laughter.) Peculiarities of a like nature were exhibited by his companion, whose acquaintance with various spirits commenced many years ago, and has increased to the present moment with pleasure to himself and profit to others. (Roars of laughter.) These gentlemen have not been celebrated throughout the vast continent of America, they have not astonished the most civilised world, but they have travelled in various parts of this glorious land—-the land of Bacon—-(laughter)—-and are about to appear in a phase in your glorious city of Manchester. (Laughter.) Many really sensible and intelligent individuals seem to think that the requirement of darkness seems to infer trickery. (Laughter.) So it does. (Cheers.) But I will strive to convince you that it does not . (Hear, hear.) Is not a dark chamber essential to the process of photography? and what would we reply to him who would say 'I believe photography is a humbug—-do it all in the light, and we will believe otherwise?' It is true we know why darkness is essential to the production of a sun picture; and if scientific men will subject these phenomena to analysis, they will find why darkness is essential to our manifestations. (Laughter.) But we don't want them to find—-(laughter)—-we want them to avoid a common-sense view of the mystery. (Laughter.) We want them to be blinded by our puzzle, and to believe with implicit faith in the greatest humbug of the nineteenth century." (Loud applause and laughter.)

Justice to Irving cannot be done by any mere record of this speech. Frequent bursts of applause followed the "points" made and the hints given, while a staid and dignified gravity recalled to the minds of his listeners the unctuous manner of the mentor of the Davenports. With the same serious face and action he turned to introduce his friends, and the pleasant and familiar faces of Messrs. Frederick Maccabe and Phillip Day, of the Princes' Theatre, appeared upon the platform—-the two professional brothers quietly taking their places to be bound on each side of the cabinet.

The process of tying then commenced, the audience keeping up a running fire of commentary, which the "Doctor" aptly and wittily answered. The brothers were placed in the cabinet, bound securely hand and foot, and with them were placed a guitar, a tambourine, a bell, and a trumpet. Directly on the doors being closed the manifestations commenced. Hands were shown at the aperture and discordant noises commenced within the cabinet. The tambourine and guitar were played, dogs barked, and cats mewed, and a variety of sounds were heard which, as the "Doctor" said, could not possibly emanate from the human voice. The trumpet was thrown out repeatedly. A gentleman near the platform asked the "Doctor" to be careful that the instrument did not do some damage. The "Doctor" said he could not be answerable for any demonstrations the spirits liked to produce. He asked a gentleman if he had been struck. The gentleman replied, "No;" upon which the "Doctor" said he hoped this was a convincing proof that the manifestations were guided by an intelligent power. On the doors being repeatedly opened, the "brothers" appeared bound as before. At length they walked forth from the cabinet freed from the fetters, They re-bound themselves; one of the committee took his seat in the cabinet, and flour being placed in their hands, the exact Davenport programme was gone through with the most complete success. The dark seance which followed was a wonderful imitation of the Davenport illusions. No effect which the Davenports produced was left undone, but in the course of the "stance " all their performances were exactly reproduced. The musical instruments were seen floating through the air—-the coats of the bound men were exchanged. The "manifestations" took place amidst sundry well-directed remarks and witticisms from the "Doctor." He insisted upon an unbroken chain of contact, "else," said he, "you may be touched in places you least expect." "In the pocket!" cried one gentleman. "Yes," came the repartee, as quick as lightning from the quasi doctor: "In the pocket, or in the head, or in any other empty receptacle." Irving's impersonation was indeed quite a triumph of real imitative art. Never for a moment did he lose his "identity," but kept the audience in constant merriment by his happy and apt remarks.

At the close of the scene, a vote of thanks to the performers was carried by vehement acclamation. Amid renewed cheers, calls were made for the "Doctor." Irving came forward, and after a few words of thanks in his assumed guise, tore off his whiskers and beard, and bowed his thanks.

It is to be remembered that this exhibition was entirely free, the tickets having been given away. In connection with the exposure, which was, by public desire, repeated on the following Saturday in the Free Trade Hall, all the gentlemen participating refused testimonials of any kind. Immediately after the first exhibition the Manchester papers were full of letters advocating a testimonial, but the honour was firmly declined. The immediate effect of the occasion on which he created such an impression was to lose Irving his engagement at the Theatre Royal, he declining to make capital out of the success of the exposure of the imposture by repeating the performance nightly at the theatre.

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