Cartoon portraits and biographical sketches of men of the day/Andrew Halliday

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search

ANDREW HALLIDAY.


Mr. Andrew Halliday Duff—so well known in connection with literature and the drama as Mr. Andrew Halliday—is the son of the Rev. William Duff, of Grange, Banffshire, whose family is derived from Macduff, thane of Fife. He was born in 1830, and was educated at the Marischal College and University of Aberdeen, where he applied himself to the study of the classics, under Professor John Stuart Blackie.

Mr. Halliday began his literary career in London as a contributor to the 'Morning Chronicle,' and afterwards joined the 'Leader,' also contributing largely to various newspapers in London and the provinces. He next turned his attention to the stage; and in 1858, in conjunction with Mr. Lawrence, wrote the burlesque of 'Kenilworth,' which achieved a remarkable success at the Strand Theatre, and has held the stage ever since, having been constantly revived in London and the provinces. Mr. Halliday produced two other burlesques, one founded on 'Romeo and Juliet,' brought out at the Strand, the other on the subject of 'The Lady of the Lake,' and entitled 'Mountain Dhu,' at the Adelphi. In conjunction with the late Mr. William Brough, he wrote a great number of original farces, which were produced at the Adelphi, Drury-lane, the Lyceum, and other theatres. The principal of these were 'The Census,' 'The Pretty Horsebreaker,' 'A Valentine,' 'A Shilling Day at the Exhibition,' 'The Area Belle,' 'Doing Banting,' 'The Actor's Retreat,' 'My Heart's in the Highlands,' 'An April Fool,' 'Going to the Dogs,' 'The Mudborough Election,' 'The Colleen Bawn Married and Settled,' and a petite drama entitled 'The Wooden-Spoon Maker.'

In 1861, Mr. Halliday joined Charles Dickens's staff on 'All the Year Round,' and contributed regularly to that periodical until Mr. Dickens's death. He wrote at the same time for the 'Cornhill' and other magazines. Mr. Halliday's collected essays were published in three separate volumes, respectively entitled 'Everyday Papers,' 'Sunnyside Papers,' and 'Town
"A successful dramatist"

A SUCCESSFUL DRAMATIST.

and Country.' The 'Everyday Papers' went through several editions, and enjoyed a remarkable success. The 'Examiner,' criticising these essays, said:

'Mr. Halliday has a lively wit, with a soul to it in his quick wholesome feeling. He writes with a light touch, but without frivolity; his gaiety is intellectual, his English accurate. His papers, light and refreshing, supply already to our current literature some of the best of the reading that seeks chiefly to amuse. We are convinced that they are the earnest of better things to come.'

A criticism by no means too favourable.

In 1867, Mr. Halliday produced his first important dramatic work, 'The Great City,' at Drury-lane. It was brought out on Easter Monday. The piece had—at Drury-lane—the unprecedented run of a hundred nights. 'King o' Scots,' 'Amy Robsart,' and 'Rebecca' followed, each piece carrying the manager triumphantly through the entire season, without the necessity for change. In 1869, he produced 'Little Em'ly,' an adaptation of 'David Copperfield'—with the sanction of Mr. Dickens—which ran two hundred nights at the Olympic Theatre. 'Nell,' an adaptation of 'The Old Curiosity Shop,' followed at the same house. 'Notre Dame' was produced at the Adelphi on Easter Monday 1871. The piece had a run of two hundred and fifty-six nights.

Mr. Halliday was the editor of the 'Savage-Club Papers,' very popular among a large class of readers.

Mr. Chatterton said, at Drury-lane, 'Byron spelt bankruptcy and Shakspeare ruin' for him as a manager. With Mr. Halliday's assistance, he has had some of the greatest successes ever known at Drury-lane.