John Martin-Harvey. The Biography of an Actor-Manager

By Nicholas Butler, Nicholas Butler, 1997, ISBN 0 95707376 1 5, 224pp, (E.WIV.920 HAR)

Summary by Pat Marsden

Sir John Martin-Harvey as Sidney Carton in 'The Only Way' London Stereoscopic & Photographic Company, published by Rotary Photographic Co Ltd, bromide postcard print, 1899
National Portrait Gallery (NPG x 160511)

John Martin-Harvey (1863-1944) was an actor-manager. He was born in Bath Street in Wivenhoe, the son of John Harvey, and grandson of Thomas Harvey, the well- known local boat-builder. The family later moved to live in Quay House which now bears a blue plaque (unveiled 21 October 1989) in honor of his name. His father wanted him to follow him in the family business but instead he was drawn to acting and trained for fourteen years at the Lyceum under Henry Irving.

Later he founded his own company ‘The Martin-Harvey Company’, which toured extensively and ran for forty years. In 1921 he received a knighthood at Buckingham Palace.

The book is extensively illustrated and contains detailed Appendices about John Martin-Harvey’s plays and tours and important dates in his life.

Image reproduced by courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery

This page was added on 04/05/2016.

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