[Ads-l] Quote: The face of Venus, the figure of Juno, the brains of Minerva, the memory of Macaulay=?UTF-8?Q?=E2=80=A6_?=the hide of a rhinoceros

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Wed Aug 30 15:31:28 EDT 2017


Wonderful, Peter; thanks.  I suspect that the 1901 statement and the
1919 statement found by Bill are part of the same family. The "great
English player" in the 1919 citation was probably a reference to Madge
Kendal.

Here is an instance of the 1901 statement that appeared a month
earlier in England. I will update the entry and acknowledge you.

[ref] 1901 June 14, The Citizen (Gloucester Citizen), The Passing
Hour, Quote Page 3, Column 6, County: Gloucestershire, England.
(British Newspaper Archive)[/ref]

[Begin excerpt]
Speaking at a meeting, on Thursday, in connection with the Girls'
Friendly Society, Mrs. Kendal enumerated the chief qualifications
requisite for success on the stage as the face of a goddess, the
strength of a lion, the figure of a Venus, the voice of a dove, the
temper of an angel, the grace of a swan, the agility of an
antelope—and the skin of a rhinoceros.
[End excerpt]

Garson

On Wed, Aug 30, 2017 at 2:37 PM, Peter Reitan <pjreitan at hotmail.com> wrote:
> Dame Kendal used a variant of the expression years earlier:
>
>
> Mrs. Kendal, in a speech in England recently, remarked that to succeed an actress must have "the face of a godess, the strength of a lion, the voice of a dove, the temper of an angel, the grace of a swan, the agility of an antelope, and the skin of a rhinoceros."  An ungallant writer in this connection asks: "But has not Mrs. Kendal succeeded?"
>
>
> The Times (Richmond, Virginia), July 14, 1901, page 9 (Chronicling America).
>
>
> ________________________________
> From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
> Sent: Wednesday, August 30, 2017 7:13:11 AM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> Subject: Quote: The face of Venus, the figure of Juno, the brains of Minerva, the memory of Macaulay… the hide of a rhinoceros
>
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Quote: The face of Venus, the figure of Juno, the brains of
>               Minerva, the memory of Macaulay=?UTF-8?Q?=E2=80=A6_?=the hide of
>               a rhinoceros
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> The items listed in the subject line are the requirements for a
> successful theater actress. The Concise Columbia Dictionary of
> Quotations (1989), The Filmgoer's Book of Quotes (1974), The New York
> Public Library Book of Twentieth-Century American Quotations (1992)
> and other references attribute the remark to Ethel Barrymore. But
> Nigel Rees's reference The Best Guide to Humorous Quotations (2011)
> cites a 1933 autobiography by Dame Madge Kendal.
>
> The Quote Investigator website now has an entry that agrees with Rees.
> https://quoteinvestigator.com/2017/08/29/rhino/
>
> In 1933 Kendal published her autobiography "Dame Madge Kendal, By
> Herself". I have not yet seen the autobiography directly, but the key
> passage was reprinted in a review in "The Leeds Mercury" in England:
>
> [ref] 1933 October 31, The Leeds Mercury, Dame Madge Kendal: How She
> Chose Her Epitaph, Quote Page 6, Column 4, County: West Yorkshire,
> England. (British Newspaper Archive)[/ref]
>
> [Begin excerpt]
> She sums up the qualifications of a young woman for a successful
> career on the stage as "The face of Venus, the figure of Juno, the
> brains of Minerva, the memory of Macaulay, the chastity of Diana, the
> grace of Terpsichore, but, above and beyond all, the hide of a
> rhinoceros."
> [End excerpt]
>
> The QI entry lists various precursors.
> Feedback welcome, Garson
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

------------------------------------------------------------
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


More information about the Ads-l mailing list