Hunted to death: the life and times of a provincial actor

[Gabillon, Zerline, actress (1835-1892) - addressee]. - Bertha Jaeger, actress (fl. 1850s). Autograph letter signed.

Ulm, 28 Feb. 1856.

8vo. 4 pp. on a bifolium. In German.


Touching letter by the actress Bertha Jäger to her Viennese colleague Zerline Gabillon, famous for her roles of scheming ladies, discussing the death of Jäger's husband, the Austrian actor Adolf Moser: "[...] Dear Miss, when you read Moser's final bequest, his apology written in gaol, you too will shed a tear for him and sense my pain. Moser's account reaches only so far as Ulm; but I feel it is my duty to let you know of his end. On January 29th Moser arrived here, already suffering. Our reunion was harrowing; the dear man wept like a child; but we were happy, thinking we had left everything behind us. He looked forward to joining the theatre here, where he was universally beloved by the public, but two members of the Ulm company, Mr Bernack and Miss Winter, refused to perform with him. The latter declared, 'She would not take the stage with any man who had been transported'. This pushed the poor man over the brink [...]" (transl.).

Two months later, the "Linzer Abendbote" of 25 April 1856 ran an article on the tragic end of the actor who only two years previously had enjoyed great acclaim in the roles of Faust, Kean, and Piccolomini but, following an arrest for an unpaid debt of 450 guilders, had been sentenced to eight days in gaol: "a victim of arbitrary punishment, hunted to death with nefarious cruelty; a casualty of that cesspool of circumstances still all too common in the much-vaunted German countries". Adolf Bäuerle reprinted the article in his "Wiener Theaterzeitung" on April 29th.

Some foxing; addressee identified in pencil on the first page by a different hand.