Thomas Hailes Lacy
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Lacy made his West End stage debut in 1828 but soon turned manager, a position he held from 1841 at The Theatre, Sheffield (destroyed by fire in 1935). The following year, Lacy married actress Frances Dalton Cooper (1819 - 1872) in that city; the couple also toured England together. Lacy's roles included Jacques (As You Like It) and Banquo (Macbeth).
In the mid-1840s Lacy withdrew from the stage and set up a business as a theatrical bookseller in London, at first in Wellington Street, Covent Garden and, from 1857, at 89 Strand. He also ventured into publishing with an innovative approach to playscripts, producing acting editions of recent plays so that each actor could have a full script to work from. Lacy's Acting Edition of Plays, published between 1848 and 1873, eventually ran to 99 volumes containing 1,485 individual pieces.
In 1859 he made the acquaintance of U.S. entrepreneur Samuel French, who had started a similar publishing business in New York City five years earlier and was visiting London. Lacy and French became partners, each acting as the other's agent across the Atlantic. In 1872, French decided to take up permanent residence in London, and when Lacy retired without any immediate heirs in 1873, he sold out to French for five thousand pounds.
Thomas Hailes Lacy died in the same year in Sutton, Surrey.
Works by Lacy
- The Pickwickians (play, 1837)
- The Tower of London (play, 1840) (with Thomas Higgie)
- The School for Daughters (comedy, 1843) (with Dennis Lawler)
- Martin Chuzzlewit (play, 1844) (with Thomas Higgie)
- Clarissa Harlowe (tragedy, 1846) (with John Courtney)
- A Silent Woman (farce, 1851)
- Belphegor; or, The Mountebank (drama, 1851, from the French (with Thomas Higgie)
- Jeanette's Wedding Day (farce from Les Noces de Jeanette, 1855).