I think you judge very wisely in putting off your London visit, and I am mistaken if it be not put off for some time. You speak with such noble resignation of Mrs. Jordan and the Opera House, that it would be an insult to suppose consolation required… Jane Austen to Cassandra January 8, 1801 She was born Dorothea Bland (though she sometimes went by Dora or Dorothy) on November 21, 1761, near Waterford, Ireland. She was the daughter of a stagehand, Francis Bland, and his mistress, actress Grace Phillips. With this background it’s no surprise that when Francis abandoned the family in 1774 (to marry yet another actress) Dora was forced to go to work to help support her mother and four siblings. Her mother found her, then 13 year old, daughter a position with the Theatre Royal in Cork. The manager of the company, Richard Daly, also saw potential. He cast Dora in any number of second rate productions, all the time acting his own love scenes on the side. Dora wanted nothing to do with her married manager—despite his “kindness” to her family. His true colors were revealed when, in a last ditch effort to gain his way with her, he threatened her with jail if she could not repay the funds he had leant her. Still Dorothy would not budge and Daly was forced to abduct her. A child resulted, you Frances, born in Dublin in 1782. Finally Dora could take no more. She and her
Become a Jane Austen Member
Membership is completely free….
- A welcome 10% off voucher to spend in our giftshop
- Full access to our online magazine of articles about Jane Austen
- Regular new stories
- Giftshop special offers and new products
- Our very popular an entertaining quiz