||MAY FORTESCUE "Substantial Damages"
||May Fortescue (1859-1950) was born Emily May Finney, the daughter of a London coal merchant.
She joined the D'Oyly Carte Gilbert and Sullivan Company in 1881 for the initial run of PATIENCE, in which she created the small part of Lady Ella. When IOLANTHE replaced PATIENCE she created the small part of Celia. She left D'Oyly Carte in 1883. In 1885 she formed - and found fame with - her own theatrical company.
Meanwhile, though, she had taken her first step into the limelight by becoming engaged to a young aristocrat, Arthur Cairns, Viscount Garmoyle. When, a few months later, Garmoyle jilted her, it made her a celebrity. And when, shortly after that, she sued him for breach of promise, her celebrity status became tinged with noteriety.
"When a woman brings an action of this sort, having for its object the acquisition of hard cash, she place herself beyond the pale of delicacy and sympathy.
She cannot serve sentiment and mammon.
The indignation which one feels against the faithless deceiver is very much moderated when the forlorn maiden takes upon herself to revenge her own woes." (The Era, 1884)
It was like TRIAL BY JURY being played out in real life.
D'Oyly Carte Personalities Series, 9 pp128. Published 2011. 30 Illustrations