Archer, William, 1856-1924

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Scottish dramatic critic and playright, and a close friend of George Bernard Shaw.

From the description of ALS, 1893 November 24, 40, Queen Square, W.C., [London], to Mrs. Charrington. (Cornell University Library). WorldCat record id: 63936001

English journalist and writer.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : 26 Gordon Square, W.C., [London], to Robert Browning, 1888 June 25. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270125331

William Archer was a Scottish drama critic, translator, and author. Educated as a lawyer, his fascination with the theater led him to journalism, and he became an eminent and important critic and commentator. Erudite and scholarly, he was friendly with many of the leading authors of his day. He is probably best known for advocating the acceptance of Henrik Ibsen's plays in English, which changed the course of English drama. He wrote several plays, the most popular of which was The Green Goddess.

From the description of William Archer letters, 1892-1921. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 57188179

William Archer (23 September 1856 - 27 December 1924) was born in Perth, son of Thomas Archer, Agent-General of Queensland in Australia. He was to emerge at the forefront of a new school of dramatic critics in Victorian England and remained an important figure in British theatrical circles into the 20th century. Beginning as a writer on the Edinburgh Evening News in 1875, he went on to become the dramatic critic of the London Figaro 1879-1881, and then The World 1884-1905. From 1905-1908 he was dramatic critic of The Tribune, and 1910-1911 of The Nation.

In 1889, he reworked the existing translation of Ibsen's A Doll's House for its first London production. This led to a complete translation of Ibsen's works under Archer's supervision. Among his own published plays are War is War (1919) and The Green Goddess (1920). An attempted collaboration on a play with his friend George Bernard Shaw did not come to fruition. He published many critical studies, pamphlets and articles concerning the theatre. He also had a long held ambition to see a national theatre established for England.

William Archer spent some of his childhood in Norway, and in 1908 he was made a Knight of the Order of St. Olav. He was called to the Bar in 1883, but never practised. He was a member of the Rationalist Press Association; and worked in the cause of the League of Nations.

William Archer married Frances Elizabeth Trickett, with whom he had a son Thomas who was killed in action during the First World War.

From the guide to the William Archer Collection, 1868-1990, (V&A Department of Theatre and Performance)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Archer, William, 1856-1924. Autograph letter signed : London, Horace Wyndham, 1923 Oct. 22. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Oscar Wilde and his Literary Circle Collection: Wildeiana, 1858-1998 William Andrews Clark Memorial Library.
creatorOf Archer, William, 1856-1924. Will Japan ever fight the United States. HCL Technical Services, Harvard College Library
referencedIn Henry Arthur Jones Collection, ca.1840s-1931 V & A Department of Theatre and Performance
referencedIn Witter Bynner papers, 1829-1965. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Thorvald Solberg Papers, 1882-1949, (bulk 1897-1930) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf Ibsen, Henrik, 1828-1906. A doll's house : three acts / Ibsen. Kent State University
referencedIn Parker, Louis Napoleon, 1852-1944. Louis Napoleon Parker papers, 1869-1943. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf William Archer Collection, 1868-1990 V & A Department of Theatre and Performance
referencedIn Griswold, Daniel Paine,. Griswold collection of theatrical letters, 1787-1909 (inclusive). Harvard University, Harvard Theater Collection, Harvard College Library
creatorOf Archer, William, 1856-1924. Typed letter signed : King's Langley, Hertshire, to Ibsen, 1906 Aug. 11. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Rothenstein, William, Sir, 1872-1945. Biographical sketches, 1897-1898. Harvard University, Houghton Library
referencedIn Wendell family papers, ca. 1620-1921. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Browne, Maurice, 1881-1955. Ellen Van Volkenburg-Maurice Browne general correspondence, 1911- University of Michigan
referencedIn Elizabeth Robins Papers, 1851-1942 Washington State University Libraries: Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections
creatorOf Archer, William, 1856-1924. Autograph letter signed : 26 Gordon Square, W.C., [London], to Robert Browning, 1888 June 25. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Archer, William, 1856-1924. Letter : London, to Laurence Housman, 1911 Jan. 26. Bryn Mawr College, Mariam Coffin Canaday Library
creatorOf Archer, William, 1856-1924. Autograph letters signed (6) and autograph notes signed (2) : London, to Frederick Whelen, 1900 Feb. 11-1903 Apr. 28. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Frederick Wagner autograph collection, 1917-1961. Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
creatorOf Archer, William, 1856-1924. Letter to [Aleksandr] Bakshy. [London, Eng.?]. 1917 Aug. 10. University of Iowa Libraries
referencedIn Archer, Charles, 1861-1941,. Autograph letter signed from Charles Archer to William John Lawrence [manuscript], 1925 March 28. Folger Shakespeare Library
creatorOf Ward, Lydia Avery Coonley, 1845-1924. Autographs collected and letters received by Lydia Avery Coonley Ward, 1705, 1785, 1848, 1861-1922 (bulk 1861-1922). University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Matthews, Brander, 1852-1929. Papers, 1877-1962. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Ward, Lydia Avery Coonley, 1845-1924. Autographs collected and letters received, A-N by Lydia Avery Coonley Ward, 1705, 1785, 1848, 1861-1922 (bulk 1861-1922). University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Archer, William, 1856-1924. Letter to Horace Howard Furness, Jr., 1921. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Shakespeare Memorial Committee. Collection of items relating to George Bernard Shaw and the Shakespeare Memorial Committee, 1908-1912. University of Guelph
creatorOf Seeger, Alan, 1888-1916. Autograph letter signed : Regiment de March de la Légion Etrangère, 5e Cie, Secteur Postal, 109, France, to William Archer. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Archer, William, 1856-1924. The green goddess : a play in four acts / by William Archer. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Archer, William, 1856-1924,. Autograph letters signed from William Archer to various people [manuscript], 1887-1922. Folger Shakespeare Library
referencedIn Robins, Elizabeth, 1862-1952. Photographic materials, 1852-1943. New-York Historical Society
creatorOf Archer, William, 1856-1924. William Archer letters, 1892-1921. Pennsylvania State University Libraries
creatorOf Archer, William, 1856-1924. Letter to Mr. Payne, 1899 March 23. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Robins, Elizabeth, 1862-1952. Papers, 1851-1942. Washington State University, Holland and Terrell Libraries
referencedIn Correspondence and other papers of Arthur Sullivan, W. S. (William Schwenck) Gilbert, and related persons, 1834-1979. Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Pearl Mary Teresa Craigie papers, 1894-1909 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
referencedIn Letters sent to Walter Hines Page from various correspondents, English period, 1876-1937. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Papers of William Archer (1856-1924), 1883-1924 Edinburgh University Library
referencedIn Clement King Shorter collection of papers, 1853-1926, 1889-1926 The New York Public Library. Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature.
referencedIn Louis Napoleon Parker Papers, 1869-1943 Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
referencedIn Sir William Rothenstein papers, 1887-1957. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Browne, Maurice, 1881-1955. Ellen Van Volkenburg-Maurice Browne general correspondence, 1911- University of Michigan
creatorOf Lee, Sidney, Sir, 1859-1926. Autograph manuscripts in the hand of various authors of introductions, general and individual, to the Renaissance edition of Shakespeare (1907-1908) [manuscript], 1903-1906. Folger Shakespeare Library
creatorOf Archer, William, 1856-1924,. Autograph letters signed from William Archer to various people [manuscript], 1890-1891. Folger Shakespeare Library
referencedIn Howells family papers, 1850-1954 (inclusive). Houghton Library.
referencedIn Lawrence, William J. (William John), 1862-1940,. Autograph letter signed from W.J. (William John) Lawrence, Dublin, Irish Free State, to Dr. Adams [Joseph Quincy Adams] [manuscript], 1925 May 7. Folger Shakespeare Library
referencedIn Miscellaneous theatrical papers, 1673-1976. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Archer, John. Letters 1833-1855 [manuscript] University of Queensland, UQ Library
creatorOf Archer, William, 1856-1924. Miscellaneous manuscripts, 1919. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Sir William Rothenstein correspondence and other papers, 1887-1957. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Archer, William, 1856-1924. ALS, 1893 November 24, 40, Queen Square, W.C., [London], to Mrs. Charrington. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Papers, 1907-1937. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Elizabeth Robins Papers, 1803-1963 Fales Library & Special Collections
creatorOf Archer, William, 1856-1924. Correspondence to Van Wyck Brooks, 1914. University of Pennsylvania Library
creatorOf Ibsen, Henrik, 1828-1906. Peer Gynt. [Translated by William and Charles Archer. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Brander Matthews Papers, 1877-1962. Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
creatorOf Chapin, Harold, 1886-1915. Harold Chapin letters, 1910-1934 (bulk 1915). Pennsylvania State University Libraries
referencedIn Galsworthy, John, 1867-1933. Letters of John Galsworthy [manuscript], 1910-1928. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Correspondence and journals of Henry James Jr, 1855-1916 . Houghton Library.
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Abington, Frances., 1737-1815 person
associatedWith Adelphi Theatre corporateBody
associatedWith Alexander, George., 1858-1918 person
associatedWith Allen, Reginald, person
associatedWith Anker, Ella., 1870-1958 person
associatedWith Archer, Charles, 1861-1941, person
associatedWith Archer, John. person
associatedWith Arthur Jones, Henry., 1851-1929 person
associatedWith Asquith, Elizabeth. Princess Bibesco, 1897-1945 person
associatedWith Asquith, Margot. Countess of Oxford and Asquith, 1864-1945 person
associatedWith Avenue Theatre corporateBody
associatedWith Baddeley, Robert., 1733-1794 person
associatedWith Bakshy, Aleksandr, 1885- , person
associatedWith Bancroft, Effie. Lady, 1840-1921 person
associatedWith Bancroft, Squire. Sir, 1841-1926 person
associatedWith Barrett, William Fletcher. Sir, 1844-1925 person
associatedWith Barrie, Sir James Matthew., 1860-1937 person
associatedWith Barry, Elizabeth., 1658-1713 person
associatedWith Barry, Elizabeth., 1733-1794 person
associatedWith Bayreuth Festival corporateBody
associatedWith Bensley, Robert., 1740-1817 person
associatedWith Boucicault, Dion., 1820-1890 person
associatedWith Brayton, Lily., 1876-1953 person
associatedWith Bridges-Adams, William., 1797-1872 person
associatedWith Bridges-Adams, William., 1889-1965 person
associatedWith Brough, Lionel., 1836-1909 person
associatedWith Browne, Maurice, 1881-1955. person
associatedWith Browning, Robert, 1812-1889, person
associatedWith Buchanan, Robert., 1841-1901 person
associatedWith Buckstone, John Baldwin., 1802-1879 person
associatedWith Bulloch, John Malcolm., 1867-1938 person
correspondedWith Bynner, Witter, 1881-1968 person
associatedWith Carnegie, Andrew., 1835-1919 person
associatedWith Chamberlaine, Neville., 1869-1940 person
associatedWith Chapin, Harold, 1886-1915. person
associatedWith Charrington, Frederick Nicholas., 1850-1936 person
associatedWith Charrington, Mrs. person
associatedWith Comedy Theatre corporateBody
associatedWith Courtney, William Leonard., 1850-128 person
associatedWith Courtney, William Leonard., 1850-1928 person
associatedWith Craig, Edward Gordon., 1872-1966 person
associatedWith Critchett, Richard Claude., 1853-1928 person
correspondedWith Daly, Augustin, 1838-1899 person
associatedWith Dene, Dorothy., 1859-1899 person
associatedWith Dorothea, Jordan., 1761-1816 person
associatedWith D'Oyly Carte, Helen., 1852-1913 person
associatedWith Drew, John., 1827-1862 person
associatedWith Echegaray, Jose., 1832-1916 person
associatedWith Esmond, Henry Vernon., 1869-1922 person
associatedWith Foote, Samuel., 1720-1777 person
associatedWith Forbes-Robertson, Johnston., 1853-1937 person
associatedWith Fortune Theatre corporateBody
associatedWith Galsworthy, John, 1867-1933. person
associatedWith Garrick, David., 1717-1779 person
associatedWith George Augustus, Conquest., 1837-1901 person
associatedWith Gladstone, William Ewert., 1809-1898 person
associatedWith Gosse, Edmund., 1849-1928 person
associatedWith Granville-Barker, Harley., 1877-1946 person
associatedWith Griswold, Daniel Paine, person
associatedWith Grundy, Sydney., 1848-1914 person
associatedWith Hampden, Walter., 1879-1955 person
associatedWith Hanbury, Lily., 1874-1908 person
associatedWith Hardy, Thomas., 1840-1928 person
associatedWith Hare, John., 1844-1921 person
associatedWith Hauptman, Gerhart., 1862-1946 person
associatedWith Haymarket Theatre corporateBody
associatedWith Henley, William Ernest., 1849-1903 person
associatedWith Hippodrome Theatre corporateBody
associatedWith Hobbes, John Oliver, 1867-1906 person
associatedWith Holberg, Ludvig., 1684-1754 person
associatedWith Housman, Laurence, 1865-1959. person
associatedWith Ibsen, Henrik., 1828-1905 person
associatedWith Ibsen, Henrik, 1828-1906. person
associatedWith Irving, Henry. Sir, 1838-1905 person
associatedWith Irving, Laurence., 1897-1988 person
associatedWith Jackson, Barry Vincent. Sir, 1879-1961 person
correspondedWith James, Henry, 1843-1916 person
associatedWith Jones, Henry Arthur., 1851-1929 person
associatedWith Kemble, Charles., 1775-1854 person
associatedWith Kendal, Madge. Dame, 1849-1931 person
associatedWith Kendal, William Hunter., 1843-1917 person
associatedWith Lawrence, William J. (William John), 1862-1940, person
associatedWith Lee, Sidney, Sir, 1859-1926. person
associatedWith Lyceum Theatre ( London) corporateBody
associatedWith Lyttelton, Edith., 1865-1948 person
associatedWith Mackail, John William., 1859-1945 person
associatedWith Macklin, Charles. ( 1697(?)-1797) person
associatedWith Macready, William Charles., 1793-1873 person
associatedWith Maeterlinck, Maurice., 1862-1932 person
associatedWith Marylebone Theatre corporateBody
associatedWith Matthews, Brander, 1852-1929. person
associatedWith McKinnell, Norman., 1870-1932 person
associatedWith Meredith, George., 1828-1909 person
associatedWith Meyer, Carl. Sir, 1851-1922 person
associatedWith Moore, George., 1852-1933 person
associatedWith Murray-Butler, Nicholas., 1862-1947 person
associatedWith Murray, Gilbert., 1866-1957 person
associatedWith Novelty Theatre corporateBody
associatedWith Page, Walter Hines, 1855-1918 person
associatedWith Parker, Louis Napoleon, 1852-1944. person
associatedWith Payne, Mr, person
associatedWith Phelps, Samuel., 1804-1878 person
associatedWith Pinero, Arthur Wing. Sir, 1855-1934 person
associatedWith Poel, William., 1852-1934 person
associatedWith Ponsonby, Arthur., 1871-1946 person
associatedWith Princess's Theatre corporateBody
associatedWith Q Theatre corporateBody
associatedWith Ramsay, William. Sir, 1852-1916 person
associatedWith Ray, Gordon Norton, 1915- person
correspondedWith Rehan, Ada, 1857-1916 person
associatedWith Robins, Elizabeth, 1862-1952. person
associatedWith Rothenstein, William, Sir, 1872-1945. person
associatedWith Royal Court Theatre corporateBody
associatedWith Royalty Theatre corporateBody
associatedWith Schelling, Felix., 1858-1945 person
associatedWith Seeger, Alan, 1888-1916. person
associatedWith Shakespeare Memorial Committee. corporateBody
associatedWith Shakespeare, William., 1564-1616 person
associatedWith Shaw, Bernard, 1856-1950. person
associatedWith Sheridan, Richard Brinsley., 1751-1816 person
associatedWith Sheridan, Thomas., 1721-1788 person
associatedWith Shorter, Clement King, 1857-1926 person
correspondedWith Solberg, Thorvald, 1852-1949 person
associatedWith Stevenson, Robert Louis., 1850-1894 person
associatedWith Strauss, Johann., 1825-1899 person
associatedWith Sutro, Alfred., 1863-1933 person
associatedWith Swan Theatre corporateBody
associatedWith Swinburne, Algernon Charles., 1837-1909 person
associatedWith Terry, Ellen., 1847-1928 person
associatedWith Terry, Fred., 1863-1933 person
associatedWith Terry's Theatre corporateBody
associatedWith Theatre Royal Drury Lane corporateBody
associatedWith Theatre Royal Haymarket ( London) corporateBody
correspondedWith Thomas, W. Moy (William Moy), 1828-1910 person
associatedWith Trafalgar Square Theatre corporateBody
associatedWith Twentieth Century Club. corporateBody
associatedWith University College corporateBody
associatedWith Vaudeville Theatre corporateBody
associatedWith Vedrenne, John Eugene., 1867-1930 person
associatedWith Wagner, Frederick, collector. person
associatedWith Wagner, Richard., 1813-1883 person
associatedWith Walcot, William., 1874-1943 person
associatedWith Waller, Lewis., 1860-1915 person
associatedWith Ward, Lydia Avery Coonley, 1845-1924. person
associatedWith Watts, Charles Albert., 1858-1946 person
associatedWith Watts-Dunton, Theodore., 1832-1914 person
correspondedWith Wendell family. family
associatedWith Whelen, Frederick, person
associatedWith Whitworth, Geoffrey., 1883-1951 person
associatedWith Wilde, Oscar., 1854-1900 person
associatedWith Wilkinson, Tate., 1739-1803 person
associatedWith William Andrews Clark Memorial Library. corporateBody
associatedWith Winterhjelm, Kristian., 1843-1915 person
associatedWith Wood, Francis Derwent., 1871-1926 person
associatedWith Wordsworth, William., 1770-1850 person
associatedWith Wyndham, Horace, person
associatedWith Yates, Elizabeth., 1799-1860 person
associatedWith Yeats, William Butler., 1865-1939 person
associatedWith Zola, Émile., 1840-1902 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Subject
Theater Critics--Great Britain
Theater--History--19th century
Theater critics--Correspondence
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1856-09-23

Death 1924-12-27

Male

Britons

English

Information

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Ark ID: w6445pff

SNAC ID: 15580169