The Case of Mrs. Clive eBook

Catherine Clive
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 28 pages of information about The Case of Mrs. Clive.
without being told, Mrs. Clive could not arrange to play in Ireland, where she was a great favorite,[19] for Rich’s cheat did not become clear to her until summer was too far advanced.  Clive says it all when she observes “it is unlawful to act any where but with them.”  Fleetwood was the only alternative for the next season, and he still owed her L160. 12s.  At the time of Clive’s Case (October, 1744) Fleetwood had not yet contacted her for engagement at Drury Lane even though he could not “but know I am disengag’d from the other Theatre.”  Nor could have Clive expected much of a salary from him even if he did call on her since the last season he offered her “not near half as much as he afterwards agreed to give another Performer, and less than he then gave to some others in his Company.”  Mrs. Clive could not but conclude that the managers were in league to distress her.[20] In the final third of her essay, Mrs. Clive presents a rather touching account of the personal costs of a piece of legislation which was itself manipulated and “interpreted in the narrow sense of forming the legal safeguard to the patent monopoly."[21]

The “Ladies” who had promised their protection to Mrs. Clive obviously were influential in convincing Rich to re-hire her, for less than one month after the appearance of Clive’s Case the Prince of Wales and his Princess sponsored at the Haymarket a concert for her benefit,[22] and her name is regularly listed in the Covent Garden playbills soon after.  The absence of publicity from Mrs. Clive, or about her, suggests that her second short year at Covent Garden was fairly acceptable to all concerned, although Portia in The Merchant of Venice was hardly her forte.

The next season finds her back at Drury Lane, where she reigns uncontested queen of comedy for more than twenty years.  In addition to the return of Clive, the 1745-1746 season (one poor in attendance and new plays) at Drury Lane is noteworthy because of a reinstated Macklin, a de-throned Fleetwood, a new manager (Lacy), a well-balanced company soon to be augmented by player-manager Garrick, prospects for a bright future—­and a theatrical monopoly stronger than ever.[23] In the latter regard Mrs. Clive’s case is revealing in that it gives a new emphasis to the epithet His Majesties’ Servants.[24]

Indiana State University
Terre Haute


[1] The Dramatic Congress (London, 1743).  Throughout I use short titles.

[2] Three major documents concerning this quarrel are published under the title Mr. Macklin’s Reply to Mr. Garrick’s Answer (London, 1743).

[3] Mrs. Clive’s four afterpieces, with their allusions to her personality and career, are equally revealing.  I treat this subject in “An Edition of the Afterpieces of Kitty Clive,” Diss.  Duquesne Univ. 1968, and “The Textual Relationship and Biographical Significance of Two Petite Pieces by Mrs. Catherine (Kitty) Clive,” RECTR, 9 (May 1970), 51-58, and “Kitty Clive as Dramatist,” DUJ, N.S., 32 No. 2 (March 1971), 125-132.

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The Case of Mrs. Clive from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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