Allan Wade

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Allan Wade (1881 – 1955) was an actor, theatre director and writer.

Early life[edit]

Allan Wade was the son of the Rev. Stephen Wade of Boscastle in Cornwall and was educated at Blundell's School in Tiverton. In 1904 be went on the stage as a member of the F. R. Benson company and in 1906 he became secretary, assistant, and play-reader to Granville Barker, with whom he stayed until 1915.

Later career and writing[edit]

Although he continued to act occasionally for many years, his theatrical interests gradually moved towards direction. He produced 14 plays for the Incorporated Stage Society and almost all of the revivals of the Phoenix Society (1919), of which he was one of the four founders. He translated plays by Giraudoux and Cocteau into English.

In his spare time Wade formed extensive collections of the works and fugitive pieces of his favourite living writers – W. B. Yeats, Henry James, Joseph Conrad and Max Beerbohm, hunting out their anonymous contributions to periodicals and copying them out by hand in the British Museum. When in the 1940s Henry James began to be read and studied again, Allan Wade’s collection and knowledge proved invaluable to the scholars and in 1948 he edited and introduced James’s then unknown dramatic criticism as The Scenic Art.

Wade was a friend of Yeats and in 1908 his interim bibliography appeared in Bullen’s collected edition of Yeats' works and he later he published the standard Bibliography. He went on to collect, edit and annotate the Letters of W.B. Yeats (1954) and at the time of his death was far advanced in collecting and editing the Letters of Oscar Wilde.


Wade’s publications included:

  • A bibliography of the writings of W. B. Yeats; London: 1951 (3rd edition revised and edited by Russell K. Alspach; 1968; ISBN 0-246-64138-X)
  • Memories of the London theatre, 1900-1914; London: Society for Theatre Research, 1983; ISBN 0-85430-037-6 (pbk.)
  • The Scenic Art. Notes on acting and the drama 1872 – 1901; 1948; New Brunswick, Rutgers University Press; OCLC Number 24268403
  • The letters of W.B. Yeats: 1954; edited by Allan Wade; London: Hart-Davis; Bib ID 2328486

Related publications include:

  • W. B. Yeats : a classified bibliography of criticism including additions to Allan Wade's Bibliography of the writings of W. B. Yeats and a section on the Irish literary and dramatic revival; K.P.S. Jochum; Folkestone: Dawson, 1978; ISBN 0-7129-0862-5
  • The Quarterly Theatre Review: New Series: Winter 1955, No. 39


Extracted from the Obituary of Mr Allan Wade, The Times, 15 July 1955 (pg. 11; Issue 53273; col B)