2017 Year-end Wrap-up

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2017 Year-end Wrap-up

2017 – what a year!

Hi, everyone. Are you still out there? I’m a bit embarrassed but haven’t fallen completely off the wagon, honestly. The Viv and Larry Facebook page is still updated regularly and I recently launched an Instagram page called @vivandlarrygram where I’ve been spending lots of time over the past month or so. My interest in Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier hasn’t waned — in fact, some pretty major events happened in this, the site’s 10-year anniversary, that will hopefully lead to big things in the future — but finding the time and the inspiration for long form posting has been difficult.

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Searching for the Oliviers in Australia

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Searching for the Oliviers in Australia

Any hard-core history geek knows the thrill of visiting places where one’s favorite historical figures lived, worked, or otherwise stayed. Perhaps even more thrilling is getting a first-hand look at objects and manuscript materials related to said historical figures. This is certainly the case for many Vivien Leigh fans. Long-time friend of vivandlarry.com, Shiroma Nathan, is a Vivien Leigh fan in Australia who recently took the opportunity to go where very few fans have gone before: The National Library of Australia in Canberra. Read about her trip and experience viewing a very special photograph album in this guest blog post.

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Vivien Leigh: Actress and Icon

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Vivien Leigh: Actress and Icon

Excellent news! Remember about a year ago when I put up a fan survey as part of my research for a chapter in an upcoming Vivien Leigh compilation book? Well, that book has finally appeared on the Manchester University Press website and is slated for publication in November of this year.

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The Extraordinary Emma Hamilton

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The Extraordinary Emma Hamilton

Few 18th century women other than royalty have managed to capture the public imagination quite like Emma Hamilton. Hers is a true rags-to-riches-to-rags story made popular through the media of her time and revived every so often through books about Horatio Nelson and, more recently, serious biographic studies of her own person. There have also been films, the most notable of which was Alexander Korda’s That Hamilton Woman (1941) starring our own Vivien Leigh.

Emy Lyon (also called Emily, Amy, and later Emma Hart before she became Emma Hamilton) was born into poverty in Cheshire on April 26, 1765. Little is known about her life as a child, but we do know that socioeconomic prospects for females of Emma’s station were very slim. In order to improve those prospects, Emma and her mother moved to London in 1778. They settled in Covent Garden, a central hub of art and theatre – but also an area of paupers and prostitutes. Emma found employment as a domestic servant first for physician Richard Budd and then for the household of composer Thomas Linley. It was during her time with the Linleys that Emma likely first developed skills as a performer of the “attitudes” that would make her famous.

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