|Sir Augustus Harris|
|Born||Augustus Henry Glossop Harris
18 March 1852
|Died||22 June 1896
|Occupation||Actor, impresario, dramatist|
|Spouse(s)||Florence Edgcumbe (1881–1896)|
Early life and career
Harris was born in Paris, France, the son of Augustus Glossop Harris (1825–1873), who was also a dramatist, and his wife, née Maria Ann Bone, a theatrical costumier. He spent his childhood in London, England, returning to Paris for schooling at age 12. In 1877, he starred in one of the most successful London plays of the day, The Pink Dominos, at the Criterion Theatre, alongside Charles Wyndham.
From 1879, Harris was manager of the Drury Lane Theatre in London, and was nicknamed the "Father of Modern Pantomime" and "Augustus Druriolanus". He introduced Jean de Reszke, Nellie Melba, Emma Eames, and Emma Calvé. His first pantomime production was Bluebeard, the next Forty Thieves. He produced and co-wrote the scripts for large-scale pantomimes at Drury Lane every Christmas that became the most popular holiday entertainments in London, assembling a famous company, including Herbert Campbell, Dan Leno and Harry Nicholls.
- The World, co-written with Paul John Meritt (1843/4–1895) and Henry Pettitt, was Harris's first production, performed at Drury Lane, 1880
- Youth, co-written with Meritt, 1881
- Pluck: A Story of ₤50,000, co-written with Pettitt, produced at Drury Lane, 1882
- A Sailor and His Lass, co-written with Robert Williams Buchanan, 1883
- Human Nature, co-written with Pettitt, 1885
- A Run of Luck, co-written with Pettitt, 1886
- Pleasure, co-written with Meritt, 1887
- The Spanish Armada, co-written with Henry Hamilton, 1888
- Babes in the Wood, 1888, starring Dan Leno, E. L. Blanchard and Harry Nicholls
- The Royal Oak', co-written with Hamilton, 1889, was the basis of a 1923 silent film of the same name.
- Jack and the Beanstalk, or, Harlequin and the midwinter night's dream, co-written with Harry Nicholls, 1889
- A Million of Money, co-written with Pettitt, performed at Drury Lane, 1890
- Beauty and the Beast, co-written with W. Yardley, 1890
- Humpty Dumpty, co-written with Harry Nicholls, 1891
- The Prodigal Daughter, co-written with Pettitt, produced at Drury Lane, 1892
- Little Bo-Peep, Little Red Riding Hood and Hop o' My Thumb, co-written with Wilton Jones, 1892
- A Life of Pleasure, co-written with Pettitt, 1893
- Robinson Crusoe, co-written with Harry Nicholls, 1893
- Dick Whittington, co-written with Cecil Raleigh and Hamilton, 1894
- Cheer, Boys, Cheer, co-written with Raleigh and Hamilton, 1895
- The Derby Winner, co-written with Hamilton and Raleigh, 1895, was produced in the United States under the title The Sporting Duchess. It was the basis of silent films of the same names in 1915 and 1923
- Cinderella, co-written with Raleigh and Arthur Sturgess, 1895
- Burmah, co-written with Pettitt, produced on Broadway in 1896
- The Little Genius, adaptation from the German with Sturgess
- The Soudan, co-written with Pettitt
- The Opera Cloak, adaptation from the French with L. D. Powles
- A Puzzled Painter, co-written with Francis Clement Philips, was published after his death.
Harris took an interest in politics, and became a member of the London County Council in 1890, representing the Strand division. He was appointed a sheriff in 1891 and deputy lieutenant of the city of London. He was knighted in 1891 and was a chairman of the Eccentric Club.
On 9 November 1881 he married Florence Edgcumbe Rendle at St Luke's Church, Redcliffe Gardens. The bride was given away by her brother, Mr. Francis Rendle. The wedding was strictly a private one and they then went to Paris by the ten o'clock express. After the death of Sir Augustus she married Edward O'Connor Terry on 24 October 1904 at Barnes, where she later lived. She died on 5 September 1914.
- "Manager Harris Dead" (PDF). The New York Times. 23 June 1896. Retrieved 21 August 2009.
- The Pink Dominos, theatre programme, 1877, accessed 28 January 2013
- Wilman, George (1882), "Augustus Harris", Sketches of living celebrities, London: Griffith and Farran, p. 46
- Anthony, pp. 88–90
- "Theatre Royal, Drury Lane: Jack and the Beanstalk, 1890", British Library Evonian Catalogue, accessed 15 January 2013
- Brompton residents at brompton.org
- The Era of 12 November 1881
- The Penny Illustrated Paper and Illustrated Times of October 29, 1904
- Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
- Anthony, Barry (2010). The King's Jester. London: I. B. Taurus & Co. ISBN 978-1-84885-430-7.
- Booth, Michael (1976). English Plays of the Nineteenth Century: Pantomimes, extravaganzas, and burlesques; volume 5 of English Plays of the Nineteenth Century. Michigan: Clarendon Publishing. ISBN 978-0-19-812519-8.
- Brandreth, Gyles (1977). The Funniest Man on Earth: The Story of Dan Leno. London: Hamish Hamilton. ISBN 978-0-241-89810-9.
- Disher, M.W. (1942). Fairs, Circuses and Music Halls. London: William Collins. OCLC 604161468.
- Taylor, Millie (2007). British Pantomime Performance. Bristol: Intellect Books. ISBN 978-1-84150-987-7.
- Zarrilli, Philip. B; Bruce A. McConachie; Gary Jay Williams Thorn (eds) (2006). Theatre Histories: An Introduction. Oxford: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-46223-5.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Augustus Harris.|
- Works by Augustus Harris at Project Gutenberg
- Augustus Harris at the Internet Movie Database
- Augustus Harris at the Internet Broadway Database
- Biography at the Jewish Encyclopedia
- Augustus Harris at Find a Grave
- Frederic, Harold (5 July 1896). "Harris was all manager" (PDF). The New York Times.