Thursday, November 8, 2012

Female Napoleons

Miss Zena Dare

Yesterday Lisa from There's Gladness in Remembrance showed a female Napoleon, making me wonder: what happened?

It's actually the actress Zena Dare, playing ... Peter Pan. In early theatrical productions of the play, after Peter conquers Captain Hook, the actors form a tableaux in imitation of Napoleon on Board the Bellerophon, a painting by Sir William Orchardson.

 Poster by John Hassall.
Peter Pan at the Duke of York's Theatre, 1904. Poster by John Hassall.

This painting shows Napoleon on board HMS Bellerophon on his way to St Helena (July 1815). The emperor stands on the deck, watching the French Coastline receding from view, contemplating his fate.

Napoleon on Board the Bellerophon, by Sir William Orchardson (1880). 165 x 249 cm,  Tate Collection.

Here is another Pan Pan:

Pauline Chase as Peter Pan, 1907.

next episode: Naples


  1. O.K., now this all makes sense to me--and it's so interesting. Thanks so much for clearing this up.

  2. Thanks for solving the mystery :)

  3. Great post Rob! Love the photos. I'm interested to learn more about Zena Dare and Pauline Chase.

  4. Keep these blogs up! I'm amazed at what you post!


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