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date: 17 August 2019

Anspach [Ansbach], Elizabeth, [Craven, Elizabeth]locked

  • Olive Baldwin
  •  and Thelma Wilson

Extract

[Craven, Elizabeth]

(b London, Dec 17, 1750; d Naples, bur. Jan 13, 1828). English composer and playwright. She was the daughter of the Earl of Berkeley and at 16 married William Craven, later 6th Earl of Craven, with whom she had seven children. Beautiful, lively and indiscreet, she loved amateur theatricals and music. Her first play, The Sleep-Walker (1778), was published by Walpole at Strawberry Hill and her comedy The Miniature Picture received an indifferent performance at Drury Lane in 1780. She provided music, as did Samuel Arnold and Tommaso Giordani, for her afterpiece The Silver Tankard, which had some success at the Haymarket Theatre in July 1781. On the day of the première Anthony Storer wrote to Lord Carlisle: ‘If it is not a better piece than her Ladyship, the Lord have mercy upon it’. A week earlier an adaptation of her Christmas entertainment The Baron, with music by Arnold, had been a flop: the audience threw apples at the performers. For ...

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R. Fiske: English Theatre Music in the Eighteenth Century (London, 1973, 2/1986)
Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, 1885-1901, suppls., 1901-96)
Historical Manuscripts Commission [Publications]
The London Stage, 1660-1800 (Carbondale, IL, 1960-68)