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    [John Wilkes Booth]: 1864 Edwin Booth Letter Mentioning His Brother John Wilkes. 5" x 7.25" single sheet of writing paper, written on two sides, lacking the conclusion that would have been contained on the integral leaf. In part: "July 23d 1864. My dear friend - I have made several ineffectual attempts to have Edwina's picture taken, and am afraid I shall be obliged to work until she gets over her fright. Every time she is dressed she says 'wont have my picture taken', so we must wait until she forgets the ugly machine that scared her... Mother is very happy with Edwina... Julius Caesar did not take place on account of J. Wilkes' absence - hunting up oil-wells in Pennsylvania, and is now postponed until the 9th of August when I hope it will be cool enough to proceed with it. Wilkes was to have played Anthony & J.B. [Cassius]." The play was not performed on August 9th either, but was performed on November 25th at the Winter Garden Theater in New York. John Wilkes played Marc Anthony. Edwin played Brutus and Junius Brutus played Cassius. It was billed as a "Booth Benefit for the Shakespeare Statue Fund" and was the only time the theatrical siblings performed together. Edwin rarely mentioned John Wilkes in his correspondence, as the two did not see eye-to-eye politically. Curiously, Edwin, not John Wilkes, played the assassin Brutus. Edwin had taken over the management of the theater earlier in the year. As the performance unfolded, Confederate sympathizers tried to set fires to various buildings in Manhattan, including the Lafarge House adjacent to the theater. The clanging of fire alarms caused near-panic among the audience. Edwin stepped out-of-character and calmed their fears, enabling the performance to continue to the end. Sold together with an 1863 CDV of Booth and his precocious and camera-shy daughter Edwina, and a photocopy of the playbill for "Julius Caesar" starring the three Booth brothers.


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    Auction Dates
    January, 2015
    24th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 11
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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