Biography of Adelaide Ristori. Australia, Theater.

Biography of Adelaide Ristori.

Sydney: Caxton Steam Machine Printing Office, [1871]. Wraps. Scarce biographical booklet, the only one on Ristori published in Sydney, describing the life of the Italian actress Adelaide Ristori, renowned as a tragedienne. Ristori visited Australia with a large Italian entourage for 4 months in 1875, performing in Ballarat, Melbourne and Sydney, and this booklet was likely published as a promotional piece for the tour.

This Australian booklet is not dated, although Ferguson’s Bibliography of Australia assigns a date ca. 1871. It was translated from Italian into English to be used as an advertising piece for Ristori's 1875 Australia tour. It was published at the Caxton printing office, which was functioning under that name until 1876.

Adelaide Ristori (1822 - 1906) toured widely, including Paris (1855, 1856), London, Madrid (1857), and the United States (1866). The booklet describes Ristori's American visits: the first tour was mainly in the North, the events of the Civil War making a stop in New Orleans impossible. Ristori did eventually visit there, reciting pieces at the grand bazaar, following which she "had to accept a sumptuous supper, which was attended by the leading people of the South, headed by the generals Beauregard and Lee". (p19).

In 1875, after one of her American tours, she traveled to Australia, where her company's lavish productions of historical drama were performed in Italian. Ristori performed the roles of Medea, Mary Stuart, and the title role in Elizabeth, Queen of England, written especially for her by Paolo Giacometti. Such was Ristori's popularity that in Victoria, a company working several gold mines on the rich Berry Lead near Allendale (north of Ballarat) was named Ristori after her. This led to an adjoining town being named Ristori Town.

8vo, 29pp. Printed glossy paper wrappers, the title printed in black at front wrapper, with "Adelaide Ristori" in an elaborate type font. Staplebound. The wrappers slightly dusty, the rear wrapper with two small areas where the gloss surface of the wrapper has been rubbed away; small amount of fox spotting to final leaves. Libraries Australia ID 5200078. OCLC: 219812323 locates 4 copies, at Monash, NLA, SL NSW and SL Victoria. Ferguson 14938. Very good - condition. Item #23255

Price: $225.00

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