Ira Aldridge The Last Years, 1855-1867, the fourth volume of Bernth Lindfors's definitive biography, places on record Aldridge's remarkable achievements and experiences in the final phase of his life, when he performed at theaters throughout Europe. His first Continental tour in 1852-1855 had been a spectacular success, and though he returned to Britain periodically afterwards, he spent much of the remainder of his career entertaining audiences in central and eastern Europe, mainly in Ukraine and Russia. His Shakespearean performances in St. Petersburg in 1858 and Moscow in 1862 were among his greatest triumphs and led to numerous appearances elsewhere in provincial cities and towns. During his forty-three years on stage in Europe, Ira Aldridge traveled more widely and won more honors, decorations, and awards than any other actor of his day. He is remembered not only as a talented thespian but also as a very visible representative of his race, someone who changed European perceptions of black people through the sheer brilliance of his artistry on stage. And by doing so, he helped to humanize the image of Africans and their descendants in Europe at an important transitional moment in history, when the movement to abolish slavery was gathering force and winning international acceptance. Bernth Lindfors is Professor Emeritus of English and African literatures at the University of Texas at Austin.
Acerca de Bernth Lindfors
Bernth Lindfors is professor emeritus of English and African literatures, University of Texas at Austin.