Macready: for over thirty years, William Charles Macready (1793-1873) was the preeminent actor of the Victorian theatre. His innovations in staging are standard practice today. He restored Shakespeare's plays to their original language, reversing two centuries of tawdry revisions. His rivalry with the American actor Edwin Forrest fueled the fatal Astor Place Riots of 1849. Friend to Dickens, who dedicated Nicholas Nickleby to him, he strove to tame a volatile temper and bring dignity to a profession which society disdained. His extraordinary Journal provides an intimate and unparalleled look at the life of the player.