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Payne, John Howard, 1791-1852


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  • Fuller Name

    • John Howard
  • Variants

    • Payne, J. Howard (John Howard), 1791-1852
    • Payne, Howard (John Howard), 1791-1852
  • Additional Information

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  • Sources

    • found: His Mrs. Smith; or, The wife and the widow, 1823?:t.p. (J. Howard Payne) [info. from InU]
    • found: Payne, Howard. Brutus, 1828:title page (Howard Payne)
    • found: Biography (website), viewed Jan. 3, 2022:John Howard Payne (John Howard Payne (1791-1852) was America's first international actor-dramatist. John Howard Payne was born in New York City on June 9, 1791. Against his family's wishes he early took to the theater. He edited his own newspaper, the Thespian Mirror, "to promote the interests of American drama," when he was 14. The following year his first play was produced. He made his debut as an actor in 1809 as young Norvall in Douglas by John Home and was an immediate sensation. By 1813, however, Payne's popularity had waned and he left for England. This sensitive, unstable, charming man spent the next 20 years in Europe. All of Payne's important works are adaptations or translations. Brutus (1818), his most popular production, was adapted from five other dramas. Yet his work was dramatically superior to his sources and became a vehicle for numerous tragedians over the next 70 years. He was deeply influenced by the French drama. The best of his adaptations from the French, Thérèse (1821), a melodrama, earned enough to release him from debtors' prison, to which he had been sent after an unsuccessful attempt at managing Sadler's Wells Theatre in 1820. Clari (1823) was popular in its own right, and one of its songs, "Home, Sweet Home," with Payne's lyrics and a Sicilian melody, outlasted the play. In 1832 Payne returned, discouraged, to his own country. He had written or adapted over 60 plays, yet he was still in debt and had no permanent place in London's theater. Payne wrote no more plays. In 1842 he was appointed American consul at Tunis. He died there on April 9, 1852.) - https://biography.yourdictionary.com/john-howard-payne
  • LC Classification

    • PS2530-PS2533
  • Change Notes

    • 1980-04-03: new
    • 2022-01-15: revised
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