Marguerite Josephine George
George, Marguerite Josephine
(real surname Weimer). Born Feb. 23, 1787, in Bayeux; died Jan. 11, 1867, in Passy. French actress.
George began portraying children’s roles when she was five years old. In 1801 she studied under the well-known dramatic actress Raucourt. From 1802 to 1808 and from 1813 to 1818, George appeared in the Comedie-Frangaise. Her roles in classicist tragedies included Hermione, Roxana, and Clytemnestra in Racine’s Andromache, Bajazet, and Iphigenia in Aulis; Cleopatra and Medea in Corneille’s Rodogune and Medea; and the title roles in Voltaire’s Merope andSemiramis. George’s decorative and flamboyant acting was representative of the late period of classicism in the theater.
From 1808 to 1812, George toured Russia, performing in St. Petersburg and Moscow. Her showy and carefully thought-out performances greatly impressed the audiences. Her acting aroused controversy between followers of the Russian school of drama and proponents of classicism. An unusual acting competition was held between George and the Russian actress E. S. Semenova; the latter was the victor.
In 1822, George acted at the Odéon Théâtre. During the 1830’s she performed at both the Odeon and Porte-SainteMartin theaters in romantic dramas (for example, by V. Hugo), departing somewhat from traditional classicism. In 1849, George retired from the theater.
WORKSMémoires inedites de mademoiselle George. Paris, 1908.
E. L. FINKEL’SHTEIN