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Letters of Charles Kean

Identifier: K43343
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Scope and Contents

This collection contains the call numbers Y.c.393 (1-299).

Autograph letters from Charles Kean to various recipients. These include Edward Philips Addison, Henry Angelo, Charles Atkinson, John Baldwin Buckstone, Henrietta Mary Beauclerk, H. Bennett, Samuel Brooks, David Buchanan, Alfred Bunn, Maris Burnett, Oscar Byrne, Patty Chapman, Henry Chorley, Mr. Cheets, Mr. Calcraft, John William Cole, Douglas Cook, Ms. Creighton, Stephen Creyke, William Cullenford, Mrs. Deane, Charles Deane, William Bodham Donne, George Ellis, George Everett, Mr. Fladgate, John Forster, Alfred Gatty, Edward William Godwin, Mayor lord Suery?, Sir George Gray, Thomas Grieve, James Henry Hackett, John Pritt Harley, William Harness, Mr. Harvey, Mary Cunne, Mr. Heath, Charles Hill, J.J. Holmes, Jipson(?), Ellen (Tree) Kean, Mary Kean (mother), Mary Kean (daughter), Mr. Kenneth, Charles Kenney, Rosa Kenney, Mr. Lambert, John Prescott Knight, James Sheridan Knowles, Charles Leclercq, Mr. Lewis, Mr. Liddell, Edmund Lockyer, John Westland Marston, Charles James Mathews, Drinkwater Meadows, Mr. Mitchell, Mr. Moran, Reverend Mason, Lady Sydney Morgan, George Morris, Henry Leigh Murray, Henry Pelham, Henry Phipps, Sir Charles Beaumont Phipps, Mrs. Phillips, James Robinson Planché, Mr. Platt, Charles Reade, Sims Reeves, John Ryder, Tommaso Salvini, Mr. Scott, Mr. Serle, Henry Shaw, Mr. Shirley, George Smith, Mr. Solen, Lady Rachel Talford, Thomas Taunton, George Vining, George Frederick Watts, Benjamin Webster, Alfred Wigan, and various others. Many letters are theater related, containing his opinions about Shakespeare, his own acting abilities in contrast to his father's, and theater management. In many of the letters, Kean also expresses his unhappiness and a desire to retire from acting and management.


  • 1828-1866



Collection is open for research.


299 items

Language of Materials



Letters collected from various sources. Includes autograph letters signed or initialed by Charles Kean. Topics of these letters include Kean's opinions on Shakespeare, acting theory, and theater management, as well as more personal matters such as his engagement and marriage to Ellen Kean and comparisons of his own success as an actor to his father's success.


Collection mostly arranged alphabetically by recipient.

Acquisition Information

Items acquired at various times from various sources. See item level descriptions for accession information.

Other Formats

Y.c.393 (116-128) also available on microfilm, FILM Fo. 3119 (reduction ration 12:1, 5 feet).

Guide to Letters of Charles Kean, 1828-1866 Folger MS Y.c.393 (1-299)
Finding aid prepared by Chelsea Rice
December 2011
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Revision Statements

  • 2020-07-14: Finding aid imported into ArchivesSpace. Minor edits made to conform to ArchivesSpace model upon import.

Repository Details

Part of the Folger Shakespeare Library Repository

201 E. Capitol St. SE
Washington DC 20003 USA