Parker, Louis Napoléon 1852-1944

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Louis Napoleon Parker, British musician and playwright.

From the guide to the Louis Napoleon Parker manuscript material : 1 item, 1893, (The New York Public Library. Carl H. Pforzheimer Collection of Shelley and His Circle.)

Louis Napoleon Parker (1852-1944) was a popular and successful mainstream English playwright, producer of historical pageants, and musician, as well as a prolific translator of drama in French and Italian. A contemporary of George Bernard Shaw, Henry Arthur Jones, Arthur Wing Pinero and J.M. Barrie, Parker saw his plays performed by some of the finest actors of his day, including Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree, Mrs. Patrick Campbell, and E.S. Willard. His historical pageants were attended by English people of all socioeconomic backgrounds, from the villagers of Warwick to the nobility.

Parker, born at Luc-sur-Mer in Calvados, France to an Englishwoman, Elizabeth Moray, and an American, Charles Albert Parker, spent his childhood in several European countries; his first language was Italian, and he spoke, read and wrote in at least French and German as well. At seventeen, his parents sent Parker to the Royal Academy of Music, then under the direction of William Sterndale Bennett. The young man began to distinguish himself as a singer, pianist and organist, and in 1873 he was sent by Bennett to serve at the Sherborne School in Dorset, first as locum tenens to the piano master and then as director of music, a position Parker held until 1892. Parker greatly increased both the musical achievement and the profile of the school, while composing his own music, including three cantatas and a set of school songs for Sherborne. During his time in Sherborne, Parker became an early member of the original Wagner Society, and later served as president of the organization that succeeded it.

In 1878 Parker was married to Georgiana Bessie Calder (c.1853-1919), the daughter of a Sherborne merchant; they had two daughters, Elsa (whom Parker nicknamed "Toby") and Dorothy (whom he called "Tommy"). Dorothy became an actress, starring in the very successful American production of her father's comedy "Pomander Walk".

Parker, who began to experience deafness in the early 1890s, left both Sherborne and his music and teaching careers in 1892, though he remained a member of the Royal Academy of Music until the end of his long life.

After leaving Sherborne, Parker turned to London and to the theater. He already had some experience as a playwright and also as a translator of European drama; indeed, Parker's 1889 edition of Henrik Ibsen's "Rosmersholm", along with William Archer's series of translations, had helped to introduce Ibsen to the English-speaking world. Though Parker's own plays display nothing like Ibsen's versions of realism, the translation shows the extent to which Parker understood contemporary developments in the theater. Parker's own theatrical career began slowly, but collaborations with Murray Carson (who occasionally used the pseudonym Thornton Clark), including "Gudgeons" (1893) and "Rosemary, That's for Remembrance" (1896) brought him a measure of popularity in both England and the United States. Especially successful were Parker's plays "The Cardinal" (1903), "Disraeli" (1911), "Drake" (1912), "Joseph and his Brethren" (1913), and (with W. W. Jacobs) "Beauty and the Barge" (1904), and "Pomander Walk" (1910). Parker also produced a number of dramatic adaptations of novels and stories, including "David Copperfield (The Highway of Life)", "Cyrano de Bergerac", and Jacobs's story "The Monkey's Paw". His translations include plays by Louis Tiercelin, Ludwig Fulda and Edmond Rostand. Many of Parker's plays were successfully staged at His Majesty's Theatre by Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree, but they often traveled to America, as the programs and reviews in this collection from Boston and New York show. "The Cardinal" received several productions in Italy, as well, and Beauty and the Barge traveled to Germany (as Das Herz auf der Hand).

In 1905, Parker created his first historical pageant, at his former home town of Sherborne. At Sherborne, nine hundred participants produced seven performances so successfully that Parker was quickly besieged by requests from other towns. Over the next five years, he created large-scale pageants for Warwick, Bury St. Edmunds, Colchester, York, and Dover. Parker's pageants, usually conducted outdoors and involving a high degree of spectacle, celebrated official English history and values. Indeed, Parker was himself intensely pro-English, and he became a British subject in 1914, just before World War I began.

Parker spent many of his later years in Devon. He continued writing, producing the screenplay Nelson for the "talkies" and occasional verse. His play Disraeli, starring George Arliss, was produced as a film in 1936. Parker died at Bishopsteignton, in Devon, on 21 September 1944.

Many of Parker's plays were not published, and he did not retain manuscripts after typed copies were made; for this reason, the typescripts and manuscripts included in this collection are often the only known copies of the works. Parker's daughters, and then his grandson, Anthony Parker Tull, used these volumes when administering the literary estate.

From the description of Louis Napoleon Parker papers, 1869-1943. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 426030826

BIOGHIST REQUIRED Louis Napoleon Parker (1852-1944) was a popular and successful mainstream English playwright, producer of historical pageants, and musician, as well as a prolific translator of drama in French and Italian. A contemporary of George Bernard Shaw, Henry Arthur Jones, Arthur Wing Pinero and J.M. Barrie, Parker saw his plays performed by some of the finest actors of his day, including Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree, Mrs. Patrick Campbell, and E.S. Willard. His historical pageants were attended by English people of all socioeconomic backgrounds, from the villagers of Warwick to the nobility.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED Parker, born at Luc-sur-Mer in Calvados, France to an Englishwoman, Elizabeth Moray, and an American, Charles Albert Parker, spent his childhood in several European countries; his first language was Italian, and he spoke, read and wrote in at least French and German as well. At seventeen, his parents sent Parker to the Royal Academy of Music, then under the direction of William Sterndale Bennett. The young man began to distinguish himself as a singer, pianist and organist, and in 1873 he was sent by Bennett to serve at the Sherborne School in Dorset, first as locum tenens to the piano master and then as director of music, a position Parker held until 1892. Parker greatly increased both the musical achievement and the profile of the school, while composing his own music, including three cantatas and a set of school songs for Sherborne. During his time in Sherborne, Parker became an early member of the original Wagner Society, and later served as president of the organization that succeeded it.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED In 1878 Parker was married to Georgiana Bessie Calder (c.1853-1919), the daughter of a Sherborne merchant; they had two daughters, Elsa (whom Parker nicknamed “Toby”) and Dorothy (whom he called “Tommy”). Dorothy became an actress, starring in the very successful American production of her father's comedy Pomander Walk.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED Parker, who began to experience deafness in the early 1890s, left both Sherborne and his music and teaching careers in 1892, though he remained a member of the Royal Academy of Music until the end of his long life.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED After leaving Sherborne, Parker turned to London and to the theater. He already had some experience as a playwright and also as a translator of European drama; indeed, Parker's 1889 edition of Henrik Ibsen's Rosmersholm, along with William Archer's series of translations, had helped to introduce Ibsen to the English-speaking world. Though Parker's own plays display nothing like Ibsen's versions of realism, the translation shows the extent to which Parker understood contemporary developments in the theater. Parker's own theatrical career began slowly, but collaborations with Murray Carson (who occasionally used the pseudonym Thornton Clark), including Gudgeons (1893) and Rosemary, That's for Remembrance (1896) brought him a measure of popularity in both England and the United States. Especially successful were Parker's plays The Cardinal (1903), Disraeli (1911), Drake (1912), Joseph and his Brethren (1913), and (with W. W. Jacobs) Beauty and the Barge (1904), and "Pomander Walk" (1910). Parker also produced a number of dramatic adaptations of novels and stories, including David Copperfield (The Highway of Life), Cyrano de Bergerac, and Jacobs's story The Monkey's Paw. His translations include plays by Louis Tiercelin, Ludwig Fulda and Edmond Rostand. Many of Parker's plays were successfully staged at His Majesty's Theatre by Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree, but they often traveled to America, as the programs and reviews in this collection from Boston and New York show. The Cardinal received several productions in Italy, as well, and Beauty and the Barge traveled to Germany (as Das Herz auf der Hand ).

BIOGHIST REQUIRED In 1905, Parker created his first historical pageant, at his former home town of Sherborne. At Sherborne, nine hundred participants produced seven performances so successfully that Parker was quickly besieged by requests from other towns. Over the next five years, he created large-scale pageants for Warwick, Bury St. Edmunds, Colchester, York, and Dover. Parker's pageants, usually conducted outdoors and involving a high degree of spectacle, celebrated official English history and values. Indeed, Parker was himself intensely pro-English, and he became a British subject in 1914, just before World War I began.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED Parker spent many of his later years in Devon. He continued writing, producing the screenplay Nelson for the “talkies” and occasional verse. His play Disraeli, starring George Arliss, was produced as a film in 1936. Parker died at Bishopsteignton, in Devon, on 21 September 1944.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED Many of Parker's plays were not published, and he did not retain manuscripts after typed copies were made; for this reason, the typescripts and manuscripts included in this collection are often the only known copies of the works. Parker's daughters, and then his grandson, Anthony Parker Tull, used these volumes when administering the literary estate.

From the guide to the Louis Napoleon Parker Papers, 1869-1943, (Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript library, )

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Winter, William, 1836-1917,. Autograph letters signed from William Winter to various recipients [manuscript], 1864-1917. Folger Shakespeare Library
referencedIn Willard, E. S. (Edward Smith), 1853-1915,. Autograph letter signed from Edward S. Willard, Queen's Hotel, Toronto, to William Winter [manuscript], 1901 November 2. Folger Shakespeare Library
creatorOf Grand Theatre Collection (University of Guelph). Disraeli : a play in four acts / by Louis N. Parker, 1956 - production photos. University of Guelph
referencedIn Willard, E. S. (Edward Smith), 1853-1915,. Autograph letters signed from Edward Willard, Banstead, to Tree [manuscript], 1894-1898. Folger Shakespeare Library
creatorOf John Lane Company. Records of the John Lane Company, 1856-1933 (bulk, 1894-1930). Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Souvenir programs of theatrical productions, 1883-1965. Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Elsie Leslie papers, 1888-1944. Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard University
creatorOf Parker, Louis Napoleon, 1852-1944. Rosemary : typescript, after 1897. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn B. J. Simmons & Co. B. J. Simmons & Co. Costume Design Records, 1878-1969 (bulk 1900-1960). Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
creatorOf Pechotsch, Raimund. Pete [music] : [a drama in four acts] / by Hall Caine & Louis N. Parker ; dramatised from Caine's novel 'The Manxman' ; incidental music by Raimund Pechotsch. Libraries Australia
creatorOf Parker, Louis Napoleon, 1852-1944,. Autograph letter signed from Louis N. Parker, Kensington, to William Winter, New Brighton [manuscript], 1916 March 14. Folger Shakespeare Library
referencedIn Norton, Charles Eliot, 1827-1908. Papers, ca.1845-1908 Houghton Library
creatorOf Parker, Louis Napoleon, 1852-1944. Joseph and his brethren : a play in four acts : based on the Biblical narrative / by Louis N. Parker. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Elsie Leslie papers, 1889-1972 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
creatorOf Lothar, Rudolph, 1865-1943. The harlequin king; a comedy in four acts. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Felice and Mildred Morris Autograph Collection, 1876-1961, 1895-1915 Princeton University. Library. Dept. of Rare Books and Special CollectionsManuscripts Division
creatorOf Parker, Louis Napoleon, 1852-1944. The sheriff and the woman; a play in one act, by Louis N. Parker. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Miscellaneous theatrical papers, 1673-1976. Houghton Library
referencedIn Tree, Herbert Beerbohm, Sir, 1853-1917,. Autograph letters signed from Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree, London and elsewhere, to various recipients [manuscript], 1884-1916. Folger Shakespeare Library
referencedIn Autograph and typed letters and cards signed, written to Arthur Moreland, and a letter from Louis Napoleon Parker to Seymour Hicks, 1898-1922 and undated
creatorOf Burne-Jones, Philip, 1861-1926. Autograph letter signed : London, to [Louis N. Parker], 1897 Aug. 18. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Kauser, Alice, ca. 1872-1945. Papers of Alice Kauser, ca. 1895-1940 (inclusive). Houghton Library
creatorOf Parker, Louis Napoleon, 1852-1944. The bugle call [microform] : a play in one act / by Louis N. Parker and Addison Bright. 19th-Century English Drama
creatorOf Burne-Jones, Philip, 1861-1926. Autograph letters signed (ca. 86) : to Louis N. Parker and others, 1896-1923. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Liebler & Co. records, 1890-1931 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
creatorOf Parker, Louis Napoleon, 1852-1944,. Autograph letter signed from Louis Napoleon Parker, London, to Elizabeth Campbell Winter [manuscript], 1913 December 19. Folger Shakespeare Library
creatorOf Parker, Louis Napoleon, 1852-1944,. Autograph letters initialed and signed from Louis Napoleon Parker, London and New York, to William Winter, New York [manuscript], 1912-1915. Folger Shakespeare Library
referencedIn Willard, E. S. (Edward Smith), 1853-1915,. Photograph postcard signed by Edward S. Willard to William Winter [manuscript], 1904 April 3. Folger Shakespeare Library
referencedIn Miller, Henry, 1860-1926,. Autograph letter signed from Henry Miller to Jefferson Winter [manuscript], 1914 October 30. Folger Shakespeare Library
creatorOf Leslie, Elsie, 1881-1966. Papers, 1888-1944. Houghton Library
creatorOf Parker, Louis Napoleon, 1852-1944,. Autograph letter signed from Louis N. Parker, Kensington, to William Winter, New Brighton [manuscript], 1915 November 12. Folger Shakespeare Library
creatorOf Parker, Louis Napoleon, 1852-1944. Rosemary, that's for remembrance [microform] : a comedy in three acts and an appendix / by Louis N. Parker and Murray Carson. 19th-Century English Drama
creatorOf Parker, Louis Napoleon, 1852-1944. Disraeli : a play in four acts / by Louis N. Parker. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Leslie, Elsie, 1881-1966. Elsie Leslie papers, 1889-1972. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Withington, Robert, 1884-. Robert Withington papers, 1909-1957. Smith College, Neilson Library
creatorOf Parker, Louis Napoleon, 1852-1944. Change Alley [microform] : a comedy of manners in five acts / by Louis N. Parker and Murray Carson. 19th-Century English Drama
creatorOf Parker, Louis Napoleon, 1852-1944. The lady of Coventry. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Althouse, C. Irvin. Trade catalogs of entertainment, 1874-1939. University of California, Santa Barbara, UCSB Library
creatorOf Liebler & Co. Liebler & Co. records, 1890-1931. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Dan H. Laurence Collection. Arms and the man / by Bernard Shaw - program for production at the Avenue Theatre, London, April 21, 1894. University of Guelph
referencedIn Moreland, Arthur. Letters, 1898-1922. Florida State University
creatorOf Parker, Louis Napoleon, 1852-1944. Louis Napoleon Parker papers, 1869-1943. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Parker, Louis Napoleon, 1852-1944. Autograph letter signed Louis N. Parker to: "My Dear Miss Smaill" January 24, 1921. Wellesley College
creatorOf Parker, Louis Napoleon, 1852-1944,. Autograph letters signed from Louis N. Parker, New York and London, to William Winter, New Brighton [manuscript], 1916 March 13. Folger Shakespeare Library
creatorOf Louis Napoleon Parker manuscript material : 1 item, 1893 The New York Public Library. Carl H. Pforzheimer Collection of Shelley and His Circle.
creatorOf Parker, Louis Napoleon, 1852-1944,. Autograph letters signed and initialed from Louis Napoleon Parker to William Jefferson Winter [manuscript], 1912-1921. Folger Shakespeare Library
creatorOf Parker, Louis Napoleon, 1852-1944,. Autograph letter signed from Louis N. Parker, Kensington, to Bram Stoker, Chelsea [manuscript], 1906 November 4. Folger Shakespeare Library
creatorOf Parker, Louis Napoleon, 1852-1944,. Autograph letter signed from Louis N. Parker, Kensington, to William Winter, New Brighton [manuscript], 1915 April 13. Folger Shakespeare Library
referencedIn Anderson, Percy, d. 1928. Costume designs for the play Disraeli, 1911. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Louis Napoleon Parker Papers, 1869-1943 Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
referencedIn John Lane Company Records TXRC00-A11., 1856-1933, bulk 1894-1930 Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
creatorOf Lavedan, Henri, 1859-1940. Sire! A play in four acts. Adapted by Louis N. Parker. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Parker, Louis Napoleon, 1852-1944,. Telegram from Louis N. Parker, London, to William Winter, New Brighton [manuscript], 1916 March 13. Folger Shakespeare Library
creatorOf Rostand, Edmond, 1868-1918. The lady of dreams; a play in four acts, by Edmond Rostand, done into English by Louis N. Parker. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Rostand, Edmond, 1868-1918. The eaglet; a play, by Edmond Rostrand [sic] Adapted into English by Louis N. Parker. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Bernstein, Henry, 1876-1953. The redemption of Evelyn Vaudray : a play in three acts / by Henri Bernstein ; adapted by Louis N. Parker. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Rostand, Edmond, 1868-1918. Chanticleer; a play in four acts, by Edmond Rostand. Paraphrased by Louis N. Parker. New York Public Library System, NYPL
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Allen, Viola, 1867-1948 person
associatedWith Allotte de la Fuÿe, Marguerite, b. 1874. person
associatedWith Anderson, Percy, d. 1928. person
associatedWith Archer, William, 1856-1924. person
associatedWith Barrie, J. M. (James Matthew), 1860-1937. person
associatedWith Bernstein, Henry, 1876-1953. person
associatedWith B. J. Simmons & Co. corporateBody
associatedWith Bonaparte, François-Charles-Joseph, Herzog von Reichstadt, 1811-1832. person
associatedWith Booth, Edwin, 1833-1893 person
associatedWith Bright, Addison. person
associatedWith Burne-Jones, Philip, 1861-1926. person
associatedWith Carson, Murray. person
associatedWith Child, Harold Hannyngton, 1869-1945. person
associatedWith Dan H. Laurence Collection. corporateBody
associatedWith Disraeli, Bejamin, Earl of Beaconsfield, 1804-1881. person
associatedWith Disraeli, Benjamin, Earl of Beaconsfield, 1804-1881 person
associatedWith Elsie, Lily, 1886-1962 person
associatedWith Fleming, George, 1858-1938. person
associatedWith Godiva, Lady, fl. 1040-1080 person
associatedWith Grand Theatre Collection (University of Guelph) corporateBody
associatedWith Graves, Alfred Perceval, 1846-1931. person
associatedWith Irving, Henry, Sir, 1838-1905. person
associatedWith Jacobs, W. W. (William Wymark), 1863-1943. person
associatedWith John Lane Company corporateBody
associatedWith Jones, Henry Arthur, 1851-1929. person
associatedWith Joseph (Son of Jacob) person
associatedWith Joseph (Son of Jacob) person
associatedWith Kauser, Alice, ca. 1872-1945. person
associatedWith Kipling, Rudyard, 1865-1936. person
associatedWith Langtry, Lillie, 1853-1929. person
associatedWith Lavedan, Henri, 1859-1940. person
associatedWith Leslie, Elsie, 1881-1966. person
associatedWith Liebler & Co. corporateBody
associatedWith Longman (Firm) corporateBody
associatedWith Lothar, Rudolph, 1865-1943. person
associatedWith Mansfield, Richard, 1857-1907. person
associatedWith Maugham, W. Somerset (William Somerset), 1874-1965. person
associatedWith Medici, House of family
associatedWith Medici, House of person
associatedWith Miller, Henry, 1860-1926, person
correspondedWith Moreland, Arthur. person
associatedWith Morris, Felice. person
associatedWith Murray, Alma, 1854-1945 person
associatedWith Newbolt, Henry John, Sir, 1862-1938 person
associatedWith Norton, Charles Eliot, 1827-1908 person
associatedWith Pain, Barry, 1864-1928. person
associatedWith Pechotsch, Raimund. person
associatedWith Rostand, Edmond, 1868-1918. person
associatedWith Scott, Clement, 1841-1904. person
associatedWith Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. person
associatedWith Shelley, Percy Bysshe, 1792-1822 person
associatedWith Simone, Madame, 1877-1985 person
associatedWith Sinclair, May. person
associatedWith Sinclair, May. person
associatedWith Smaill, Edith Margaret, 1876-1956. person
correspondedWith Stoker, Bram, 1847-1912 person
associatedWith Terry, Ellen, Dame, 1847-1928 person
associatedWith Tree, Herbert Beerbohm, Sir, 1853-1917. person
associatedWith Wagner, Richard, 1813-1883. person
associatedWith Ward, Humphry, Mrs., 1851-1920. person
associatedWith Wells, H. G. (Herbert George), 1866-1946. person
associatedWith Willard, E. S. (Edward Smith), 1853-1915, person
correspondedWith Winter, Elizabeth C. (Elizabeth Campbell), 1841-1922 person
correspondedWith Winter, William, 1836-1917 person
associatedWith Winter, William Jefferson, b. 1878 person
associatedWith Withington, Robert, 1884- person
associatedWith Young, Robert, 1927-2008, person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Great Britain
England--Colchester
England--York
England--Bury St. Edmunds
England--Sherborne
United States
United States
England--Warwick
England
England--Dover
Subject
Dramatists
Pageants--England--Colchester
Pageants--England--Bury St. Edmunds
Theatrical producers and directors
World War, 1914-1918--Poetry
Theater--England
Pageants--England
Pageants--England--York
Solo cantatas, Secular--Vocal scores with piano--Manuscripts--Specimens
Actors
Theater--United States
Pageants--England--Sherborne
Prompt-book
Pageants--England--Dover
Theater
Drama
Hamlet (Legendary character)--Manuscripts
Drama (English)
Pageants--England--Warwick
World War, 1914-1918--Drama
Pageants
Occupation
Composers
Dramatists, English
Poets, English
Translator
Function

Person

Birth 1852-10-21

Death 1944-09-21

Information

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Ark ID: w6v40zn2

SNAC ID: 31635852