On June 23, 1812, about a hundred miles east of New York, lookouts aboard the thirty-six-gun British frigate Belvidera
sighted a small squadron.
When Siddons's niece, Fanny Kemble, attempted Belvidera
Leigh Hunt observed: "She too doles out her words too much; dwells upon the vowels till they become double .
53) Lady of Distinction, The Beauties of Mrs Siddons: or a review of her Performance of the characters of Belvidera
, Zara, Isabella, Margaret of Anjou, Jane Shore and Lady Randolph (London: John Strahan, 1786), 39, 32, 33, 40, 39.
She was eventually able to resume her career and in collaboration with Garrick actually enhanced her reputation as a tragic performer in roles such as Rowe's Calista and Jane Shore, and Otway's Belvidera
in Venice Preserv'd.
By the time of the heroine Belvidera
's final madness, however, the boundary has disappeared altogether: for Belvidera
goes beyond Antonio's condition, of fantasizing that he is a dog, into the downright delusion that she is one: "Oh I'll dig, dig the Den up" (5.
One of Siddons's most famous roles was Belvidera
in Otway's Venice Preserv'd (1682).
She had already achieved great success in the tragedies of Otway in the early 1680s, especially in the parts of Monimia in The Orphan (1680) and Belvidera
in Venice Preserved (1682).
Just as interesting is the case of John Harrower, a Scotsman who taught school on George Daingerfield's Belvidera
plantation, located several miles southeast of Fredericksburg on the banks of the Rappahanock River.
So, for instance, one Lieutenant Norfor (also on the cast list for Sheridan's School for Scandal) played Belvidera
in a 1780 production of Venice Preserved.
Venice Preserv'd offered in Belvidera
a great role for Elizabeth Barry, compounded by Otway's obsession with her: a heroine who shapes her own destiny and so highlights |how limited are sexual relationships in tragedy throughout the period' (p.
Among the actresses well known for their interpretation of Belvidera
were Elizabeth Barr, who created the role and with whom Otway was hopelessly in love, and Sarah Siddons.
Her brief entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography mentions some of her more famous roles, including Belvidera
in Thomas Otway's Venice Preserved [Fig.