Press Clippings for the week ending
Saturday, 25 July 2009

A random selection of clippings
from newspapers and magazines

the 'Ethiopian' nuisance,
street entertainers, London, 1859

'Ethiopian' street entertainers, London


'Ethiopian' street entertainers, London, 1859

(The Illustrated London News, London, I January 1859, p. 13)

'LONDON MUSIC
'A clever caricaturist has contributed a couple of Engravings illustrative of the various kinds of music familiar to the inhabitants of this great metropolis. The one, ''Outdoor Music,'' pictures the tuneful groups who enchant the Cockney ear in all our streets and thoroughfares; the other, ''Indoor Music,'' brings before us the more refined entertainments of our theatres, concerts, and drawing-rooms. We give the first in our present Number, reserving the second for next week. . . . The three fellows with black faces belong to the Ethiopian nuisance - a nuisance which, thanks to the refinement of public taste, has made its way from our streets to our theatres and concert-rooms. We are inundated with nigger minstrels and nigger songs; our music-publishers sell them in abundance, and ladies warble them in our drawing-rooms. It is a caprice of fashion which, like other caprices, will give way to something else, perhaps equally absurd.'
(The Illustrated London News, London, Saturday, 1 January 1859, pp.12a/14a)

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Mabel Grey a clever woman,
London, 1873

Mabel Grey


Mabel Grey, otherwise Gray (fl. late 1860s/early 1870s)
English celebrity and demi-mondaine

(photo: Henry Knight, St. Leonards on Sea, Sussex, England, circa 1870)

'How is it, lots of people are asking, that Mabel Gray still manages to hold her high place in the ''hemisphere,'' and does not sink out of notice, as most of the favourites of the demi-monde do, after a season or two's success? Here is Mabel, after being before the town for five years, at least, still photographed about once a fortnight, still made the heroine of the lying adventures of the foolish rake; and at this very moment driving as pretty a pair of ponies in the park as you can wish to see. How is this? people ask. Why does not Miss Gray, having gone up like the rocket, come down like the stick? The answer simply is - Miss Gray is a clever woman. She is not particularly handsome; her personal charms are not especially seductive, but she is eminently fascinating in her manner and knows how to fish in ''gay'' water with consummate still. Here is the secret of her success; and the fact that many women, far prettier and more personally attractive then she, have gone irretrievably to the dogs, is another proof that brains do win in the long run with love as in any thing else. It is to be hoped Miss Gray will soon, according to precedent, forsake her evil ways, and devote her accumulated fortune to evangelising the rural population.'
(The Sporting Times, London, Saturday, 26 April 1873, p. 132c)

'OH, SO SWEET!
'. . . Notes Upon English Beauties . . .
'NEW YORK, July 10 [1879] . . .
'When the prince of Wales' relations to pretty Mabel Gray, the London shop girl, became common fame, almost every shop, restaurant, coffee house, bar and reading-room in London was decorated with pictures of Mabel Gray. In many private houses too, where the girl herself would be regarded with the utmost aversion, her picture found a place, and was duly lauded for its beauty.'
(The Daily Constitution, Atlanta, Georgia, Thursday, 17 July 1879, p. 1g)

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Nat Clifford stars at the
Alhambra, Brighton,
week beginning Monday, 28 April 1902

Mr and Mrs Nat Clifford

Mr and Mrs Nat Clifford

Nat Clifford (fl. late 19th/early 20th Century),
English music hall comedian and sketch and song writer

(photo: unknown, UK, circa 1905)

'The ''star'' turn here is provided by Nat Clifford, whose popularity with the patrons of this hall has been proved on several former occasions. The welcome accorded him this evening was of a most enthusiastic character, and after each of his contributions he was the recipient of cordial applause from all parts of the house. His first song is screamingly funny. It deals with the experiences undergone during a short sojourn at a Grand Hotel, and the ''patter'' with which it is embellished is so amusing and so drolly delivered, that audiences seem to want to hear it over again. The second ditty - a protest against the ubiquitous coon song - does not provoke quite so much merriment as the first, but is, nevertheless, greatly appreciated. The appearance of the comedian ''for the third time of asking,'' in naval uniform, sends the audience into roars of laughter, and his ludicrous antics - he has been happily termed ''the nimble one'' - prove a source of constant mirth. His dancing is both clever and amusing.'
(Brighton & Hove Society, Brighton, Sussex, Saturday, 3 May 1902, p. 561a)

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Ted E. Box is bitten by a dog, 1908

Ted E. Box


Ted E. Box (fl. 1897-1914),
British music hall comedian

(photo: unknown, probably UK, circa 1910)

'Mr. Ted E. Box has been very badly bitten by a dog. The animal, which has since been destroyed, fastened on to the front of the comedian's leg, below the knee. The wound had immediate medical attention, being cauterised and strapped down, the patient being able to perform on the same evening, though unable to add to his eccentric entertainment his customary burlesque dancing. Mr. Box has purchased two songs, ''Whistling mad'' and ''What's it got to do with you,'' from the pen of Phil Mervyn, and both have proved big successes.'
(The Era, London, Saturday, 30 May 1908, p. 20c)

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© John Culme, 2009