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October 3, 2020

The Nightingale of Wales: Gorgeous Photos of Gaynor Rowlands During Her Short Life

Born 1883 in London of Welsh parents, English actress, singer, and dancer Gaynor Rowlands began her career in the ballet of The Empire Theatre, London under Miss Katie Lanner, graduating in 1900. She joined the company chorus line of George Edwardes’ Gaiety Theatre in 1900, toured India in 1901/02, and quickly became a star.

Rowlands  In her time she became the most photographed of the “Gaiety Girls”; her roles were portrayed in numerous picture postcards. She was featured in periodicals such as The Era, The Stage, and The Play Pictorial, and in 1906, in The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News in scenes from The Spring Chicken.

In Wales, Rowlands became known as “Eos Gwalia”: The Nightingale of Wales. She died of heart failure in 1906 at the age of 23 following surgery for appendicitis.

Gilbert Frankau, poet and novelist, struck-up a platonic friendship with Rowlands, and described this friendship in his book Self Portrait: A Novel of His Own Life.

Take a look at these gorgeous photos to see the beauty of Gaynor Rowlands during her short life.


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