Saddlemyer, (Eleanor) Ann 1932-
SADDLEMYER, (Eleanor) Ann 1932-
PERSONAL: Born November 28, 1932, in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada; daughter of Orrin Angus (a lawyer) and Elsie Sarah (Ellis) Saddlemyer. Education: University of Saskatchewan, B.A., 1953; graduate study (honors in English), 1953-55; Queen's University at Kingston, M.A., 1956; University of London, Ph.D., 1961. Politics: NDP (New Democratic Party of Canada). Religion: Protestant. Hobbies and other interests: Contemporary theatre, music, and art; collecting books and prints of 1880-1915; the histories of the Irish and Canadian theatres, women's biography.
CAREER: University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, instructor, 1956-57, 1960-62, assistant professor, 1962-64, associate professor, 1964-68, professor of English, 1968-71, adjunct professor, 1995—; University of Toronto, professor of English, Victoria College, 1971-95, professor emerita, 1995—, Massey College, master, 1988-95, master emerita, 1995—, Graduate Drama Centre, director, 1972-77, acting director, 1985-86. Berg Professor, New York University, 1975.
MEMBER: Modern Language Association of America, Association of Canadian University Teachers of English, Canadian Association of University Teachers, Canadian Association of Irish Studies, International Association for the Study of Anglo-Irish Literature (founding member; past chair), Society for Theatre Research, Association of Canadian Theatre Research (founding president).
AWARDS, HONORS: Canada Council short-term grant, 1962, 1963; Guggenheim fellowship, 1965-66; Canada Council research fellow, 1968; Royal Society of Canada fellow, 1976; Ontario distinguished service award, 1985; Connaught senior research fellow, 1986-87; Rose Mary Crawshay Award, British Academy, 1986; Royal Society of Arts fellow, 1987; the Association for Canadian Theatre Research created the Ann Saddlemyer Award, 1989; Alumni Award, University of Toronto, 1991; Woman Distinguished Award, Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA); Officer of the Order of Canada, 1995; Rosenthal Award, Yeats Society of New York, 2001; D.Litt., University of Victoria, 1989, McGill University, 1989, University of Windsor, 1990, University of Saskatchewan, 1991, and University of Toronto, 1999; L.L.D., Queen's University, 1977, and Concordia University, 2000; shortlisted for James Tait Black Memorial Book Prize, 2003, for Becoming George: The Life of Mrs. W. B. Yeats.
(Editor, with Robin Skelton) The World of W. B. Yeats, University of Washington Press (Seattle, WA), 1965, 2nd edition, 1967.
In Defense of Lady Gregory, Playwright, Dolmen Press (Dublin, Ireland), 1966.
(Editor) J. M. Synge, Collected Works, Volumes 3 and Volume 4; Plays, two volumes, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1968, published as J. M. Synge: Plays, 1969.
(Editor) The Plays of Lady Gregory, four volumes, Colin Smythe (Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire, England), 1970.
(Editor) Letters to Molly: J. M. Synge to Maire O'Neill, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 1971.
(Compiler) A Selection of Letters from John M. Synge to Lady Gregory and W. B. Yeats, Cuala Press (Dublin, Ireland), 1971.
(With others) Accessibility Study of the University of Victoria and Camosun College, British Columbia Ministry of Human Resources (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada), 1978.
(Editor) Theatre Business: The Letters of the First Abbey Theatre Directors, Penn State University Press (University Park, PA), 1982.
(Editor) The Collected Letters of John Millington Synge, two volumes, Clarendon Press (Oxford, England), 1983-84.
(Editor, with Colin Smythe) Lady Gregory Fifty Years After, Colin Smythe (Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire, England), 1987.
Wisdom, Magic, Sensation: W. B. Yeats in the 1930s, Memorial University (St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada), 1988.
(Editor) Early Stages: Theatre in Ontario, 1800-1914, University of Toronto Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1990.
(Editor) J. M. Synge, The Playboy of the Western World and Other Plays, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1995.
(Editor, with Richard Plant) Later Stages: Essays on Ontario Theatre from the First World War to the 1970s, University of Toronto Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1997.
Becoming George: The Life of Mrs. W. B. Yeats, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2002.
Writer of lecture series for Canadian Broadcasting Corp. Contributor to Irish Book, Anglo-Soviet Journal, Canadian Literature, Dalhousie Review, Queen's Quarterly, Theatre Research, Modern Drama, Theatre Survey, Massachusetts Review, Quill & Quire, and other journals. Member of editorial board, Yeats Studies, Irish University Review, Journal of Irish Literature, Modern Drama, English Studies in Canada, and Canadian Theatre Review. Founding coeditor, Theatre History in Canada, 1978-86.
SIDELIGHTS: Ann Saddlemyer has written extensively on Canadian and Irish theatre. Adrian Frazier, writing in the Irish Times, stated: "The books of Ann Saddlemyer are landmarks: editions of Synge's letters and plays, groundbreaking histories of the Abbey Theatre in The World of W. B. Yeats, and a massive recuperation of the Abbey's most popular early playwright in Lady Gregory: Fifty Years After. She made Seamus Heaney's Field Work possible by lending him her Wicklow house in which to write it. If Ireland gave a prix, as France does, to foreign friends, it would have awarded the title ollamh strainsear to Ann Saddlemyer."
Saddlemyer's books on Canadian theatre include Early Stages: Theatre in Ontario, 1800-1914 and Later Stages: Essays on Ontario Theatre from the First World War to the 1970s, which together provide an overview of theatrical activity in Ontario for nearly two hundred years. Among the subjects covered in the first volume are garrison theatre, touring entertainers, circuses, dime museums, and vaudeville. The second volume traces the development of professional theatre in Ontario, chronicling the rise of stock companies, theatre festivals, and university theatres. Denis Johnston, in a review for Theatre Research in Canada, found that "perhaps the greatest achievement in Early Stages is the sense of it being a unified and comprehensive whole—rare in collections of essays. Each essay is complete and thorough in itself, and each refers pertinently to its companion pieces." Writing of Later Stages in Canadian Literature: A Quarterly of Criticism and Review, Kym Bird found the volume to be a "monumental contribution. . . . Like its predecessor, it is the first detailed overview of theatre in its period." "Together with its earlier sister volume," Ronald Vince wrote in Theatre Research International, "Later Stages will be required reading for anyone interested in the theatre in Ontario or indeed in Canada."
Becoming George: The Life of Mrs. W. B. Yeats is Saddlemyer's biography of Georgie Hyde Lees, the wife of Irish poet William Butler Yeats. Saddlemyer's biography, some 800 pages in length, covers Georgie's life from childhood through her married life until her death thirty years after her husband's passing. Hilary Spurling in the New York Times found Saddlemyer's book to be "patiently researched [and with] previously unpublished and scrupulously documented detail." Brenda Maddox in the Guardian found that Saddlemyer had "delivered the life of this remarkable woman in encyclopaedic detail." John Banville of the New York Review of Books reported, "Ann Saddlemyer has written a profound, exhaustive, and richly evocative life of this truly remarkable woman." Kildare Dobbs wrote in the Toronto Globe & Mail, "In her wise, majestic biography, Ann Saddlemyer seems to see all and understand all; her book is a masterpiece, an extraordinary achievement."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Canadian Historical Review, September, 1984, review of The History of Theatre in Ontario, p. S15.
Canadian Literature: A Quarterly of Criticism and Review, winter, 1992, Richard Paul Knowles, review of Early Stages: Theatre in Ontario, 1800-1914, p. 132; spring, 2000, Kym Bird, review of Later Stages: Essays on Ontario Theatre from the First World War to the 1970s, p. 170.
Canadian Theatre Review, summer, 1998, Patrick B. O'Neill, review of Later Stages, p. 89.
Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, March, 2003, G. Grieve-Carlson, review of Becoming George: The Life of Mrs. W. B. Yeats, p. 1186.
Economist, August 27, 1983, review of The Collected Letters of John Millington Synge: Volume One, 1871-1907, p. 65; November 10, 1984, review of The Collected Letters of John Millington Synge, Volume Two, 1907-1909, p. AB9.
Guardian (London, England), October 26, 2002, Brenda Maddox, review of Becoming George, p. 12.
International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures Newsletter, July 20, 2000.
Irish Times (Dublin, Ireland), October 12, 2002, Olivia Kelly, "Literati Light Up Kildare Street," p. 57; November 2, 2002, Adrian Frazier, "Seized by a Superior Power?," p. 59.
Journal of Canadian Studies, spring, 1994, Craig Stewart Walker, review of Early Stages, p. 156.
New York Review of Books, April 10, 2003, John Banville, review of Becoming George, p. 46.
New York Times, October 20, 2002, Hilary Spurling, review of Becoming George, p. 27.
Spectator, October 5, 2002, P. J. Kavanagh, review of Becoming George, p. 42.
Theatre Research in Canada, Volume 19, number 1, 1998, Denis Johnston, reviews of Early Stages and Later Stages, pp. 86-91.
Theatre Research International, autumn, 1992, Mary Elizabeth Smith, review of Early Stages, p. 246; autumn, 1998, Ronald Vince, review of Later Stages, p. 289.
Toronto Globe & Mail, 2003, Kildare Dobbs, review of Becoming George.
University of Toronto Quarterly, winter, 1998, Denyse Lynde, review of Later Stages, p. 534.
Victorian Studies, winter, 1989, Linda Ray Pratt, review of Lady Gregory: Fifty Years After, p. 265.
Ann Saddlemyer's Home Page,http://www.pgil-eirdata.org/html/pgil_gazette/scholars/ (April 17, 2003).*