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June 19, 2022

Vintage Photos of ‘Lady Clare’ Theater Play at the Smead School, Ohio in 1884

Lady Clare is a narrative poem by Alfred Tennyson, first published in 1842. After 1851 no alterations were made.

This poem was suggested by Susan Ferrier’s 1824 historical novel “The Inheritance.” A comparison with the plot of Ferrier's novel will show how Tennyson adapted the tale to his ballad:
“Thomas St. Clair, youngest son of the Earl of Rossville, marries a Miss Sarah Black, a girl of humble and obscure birth. He dies, leaving a widow and as is supposed a daughter, Gertrude, who claim the protection of Lord Rossville, as the child is heiress presumptive to the earldom. On Lord Rossville’s death she accordingly becomes Countess of Rossville. She has two lovers, both distant connections, Colonel Delmour and Edward Lyndsay. At last it is discovered that she was not the daughter of Thomas St. Clair and her supposed mother, but of one Marion La Motte and Jacob Leviston, and that Mrs. St. Clair had adopted her when a baby and passed her off as her own child, that she might succeed to the title. Meanwhile Delmour by the death of his elder brother succeeds to the title and estates forfeited by the detected foundling, but instead of acting as Tennyson’s Lord Ronald does, he repudiates her and marries a duchess. But her other lover Lyndsay is true to her and marries her. Delmour not long afterwards dies without issue, and Lyndsay succeeds to the title, Gertrude then becoming after all Countess of Rossville.”
Here is a set of vintage photos from John Mathew Smith that shows Lady Clare theater play at the Smead school, Ohio in 1884.


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