Florence Marryat

Florence Marryat (1882, 1883)

[Born Brighton, Sussex 9 Jul 1837, died St. John's Wood, London 27 Oct 1899]

Florence Marryat was the daughter of the famous author Captain Frederick Marryat. At the age of eleven, this singular anomaly wrote and illustrated her first novel, and for much of her life devoted herself to literature, writing some 70 volumes, mostly sensation novels and works dealing with spiritualism. She also wrote a biography of her father ("Life and Letters of Captain Marryat") in 1872, and a few works for the stage.

She was married at 16 and raised eight children. Her first published novel "Love's Conflict," 1865, was reportedly written to distract her mind while nursing her children through scarlet fever. Many of her novels were translated into French, German, Russian, Flemish, and Swedish. She was a frequent contributor to newspapers and magazines. From 1872 to 1876 she served as editor to the monthly magazine London Society, and later managed a school of journalism.

In 1876 Miss Marryat collaborated with George Grossmith on a program called Entre Nous. It was a series of piano sketches, alternating with scenes and costumed recitations, and topped off with a two-person 25-minute "satirical musical sketch" by Grossmith called Cups and Saucers. Entre Nous toured until spring or summer of 1877.

Miss Marryat was coauthor (with Sir C. L. Young) of Miss Chester, a drama in three acts first produced in Holburn in 1872, and in February 1881 she took the lead at the Adelphi, London, in her own drama Her World Against a Lie.

In August 1882 Florence Marryat joined Mr. D'Oyly Carte's No. 2 "Patience" Company, touring as Lady Jane until December 23. She had another brief stint as Jane in March 1883 with Carte's No. 1 "Patience" Company.

In January 1884 she appeared as Queen Altemire in a revival of Gilbert's fairy comedy The Palace of Truth at the Prince's Theatre, London.

Her last appearance on the London Stage was as Casandra Doolittle in a single matinee performance of an operetta called The Dear Departed (Comedy, May 29, 1890). Her last work for the stage was The Gamekeeper, a drama written in collaboration with Herbert Macpherson and performed at the Aquarium, Brighton, in May 1898.

Page created August 27, 2001 © 2001 David Stone