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Minstrel Memories: The Story of Burnt Cork Minstrelsy in Great Britain from 1836 to 1927, Reynolds, Harry

Author    Reynolds, Harry

Title   Minstrel Memories: The Story of Burnt Cork Minstrelsy in Great Britain from 1836 to 1927

Binding   Hardcover

Book Condition   Very Good

Edition   First Edition

Publisher   London Alston Rivers Ltd. 1928

Seller ID   23646

(no dust jacket) [spine slightly turned, mild bumping to bottom corners, otherwise a good sound clean book]. (B&W plates w/photos, facsimiles) A chronicle of "one of the most remarkable and picturesque periods in the annals of British Amusements" -- "an authentic record of Ethiopian Minstrelsy in Great Britain." Extensively illustrated with photographs of many of the minstrel-show stars of the day, reproductions of cartoon illustrations, playbills, stage scenes, etc. The final 32-page chapter of the book is the author's account of his own contributions to this long-gone form of racially-insensitive entertainment (and that's being kind), the Harry Reynolds' Minstrels, active beginning in the 1880s. (Trigger warning: if the n-word gives you conniptions you'd best not delve too deeply into this book.) One particularly distasteful anecdote concerns the one time Mr. Reynolds "included a real coloured comedian in my troupe," but came to regret it: "When steady he worked like the nigger of tradition and proved most useful, but when he went on the drink it was a case of 'razors in the air.' Then he would quickly burn all his money and pawn his banjo -- he left a trail of banjos behind him -- and later chase me all over the town begging for half-crowns so that he could see a doctor; failing that as he felt so bad he was sure to die. . . . But in spite of my refusal to hand him over further half-crowns the villain insisted on living." (I mean, really, how dare he!?)

Minstrel Shows Entertainers Show Business English Music Hall

Price = 200.00 USD

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