Sir Henry Irving

(2290 words)
  • Christopher Goode (Independent Scholar - Europe)

Sir Henry Irving (1838-1905) was one of the leading English actors of his day. He was particularly celebrated by his contemporaries for his efforts in enhancing the status and respectability of the Victorian stage, and in 1895 he became the first actor to receive a knighthood. The eminent theatrical scholar Peter Bailey has described Irving as the “strong leader”(1) of nineteenth-century theatre, a position which reflects his innovations in acting technique and the meticulous attention to detail evidenced in his many spectacular stage productions. Irving’s work encompassed a new concern for psychological and historical realism, as well as a perceived preoccupation with the moral value of his creations. As a contemporary a…

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Goode, Christopher. "Sir Henry Irving". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 13 October 2006
[, accessed 29 November 2015.]