Bronson Howard: Seminal 19th Century American Playwright

The name Bronson Howard (1842-1908) may be unknown to you, but in the 19th century it packed American theatres.

His widest known property today may be his 1887 play The Henrietta, for it was revived on Broadway in 1913 as The New Henrietta starring Douglas Fairbanks (who also starred in a 1915 film version The Lamb), and was then re-made into the 1920 movie The Saphead, starring Buster Keaton.  After this probably comes one of his earliest and biggest hits, the farce Saratoga (1870), with was produced by Augustin Daly, and the Civil War drama Shenandoah (1889), which put Charles Frohman on the map as a producer. Others included Lillian’s Lost Love (1873, revived more successfully as The Banker’s Daughter in 1878), Old Love Letters (19878), Young Mrs. Winthrop (1882), One of Our Girls (1885), Aristocracy (1892), and Peter Stuyvesant (1899, co-written with Brander Matthews).

Originally a newspaperman, Howard was born and bred in Detroit. His wide was Alice Maude Wyndham, sister to popular English actor Sir Charles Wyndham. 

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