Mrs. Jordan's Profession Book Summary and Study Guide

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Mrs Jordan's Profession: The story of a great actress and a future King
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Claire Tomalin
Penguin, 1995
ISBN 0140159231

Dora Jordan (1761-1816) was one of the great British comic actresses of her age, though she is probably better remembered as the mistress of the Duke of Clarence, later King William IV. For about 20 years she and the Duke lived together in a state of domesticity, during which she bore him 10 children, in addition to three she had had by previous relationships.

Throughout this time she pursued her career on the stage, mainly at Drury Lane but also touring with repertory companies throughout England. Unhappily, political considerations forced the Duke to seek a bride, and the relationship was terminated in unhappy circumstances which reflected badly on him. She died penniless in Paris in 1816.

This book places most emphasis on her relationship with the Duke and her children, but also has much about her professional career and her dealings with the playwright and theatre proprietor Richard brinsley Sheridan. A final chapter brings the story up to date by revealing what became of the Fitzclarences, her children by the Duke.

The review of this Book prepared by John Van der Kiste

Chapter Analysis of Mrs. Jordan's Profession

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Plot & Themes

job/profession:    -   actor/actress Job/profession/poverty story    -   Yes Royalty bio    -   Yes Period of greatest activity?    -   1600-1899

Subject of Biography

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   actor/actress/producer Ethnicity    -   White Nationality    -   British


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   2 () Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK Misc setting    -   Fancy Mansion Century:    -   18th century

Writing Style

Book makes you feel?    -   thoughtful Pictures/Illustrations?    -   More in color 6-10 How much dialogue in bio?    -   little dialog How much of bio focuses on most famous period of life?    -   76%-100% of book

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