Sheldon, Edward


Sheldon, Edward
(1886-1946)
   Edward Brewster Sheldon was born in Chicago to a wealthy family. He studied with George Pierce Baker at Harvard University and with Baker's guidance presented his first Broadway offering, the popular Salvation Nell, in 1908. Prior to the emergence of Eugene O'Neill, Sheldon was one of a few American playwrights demonstrating promise at merging modernist philosophy with contemporary popular drama. Salvation Nell was followed by the controversial, race-centered The Nigger (1909), after which The Boss (1911), The High Road (1912), and Romance (1913) seemed, in part, to fulfill his promise. However, other works, including Princess Zim-Zim (1911), Egypt (1912), and Sheldon's adaptations of Song of Songs (1914), The Garden of Paradise (1914), The Jest (1919), and The Czarina (1922), leaned more toward the expectations of the commercial stage. Struck with illness that rendered him progressively blind and paralyzed, Sheldon thereafter worked with collaborators, including Sidney Howard on Bewitched (1924), Charles MacArthur* on the controversial Lulu Belle (1926), and Margaret Ayer Barnes on the comedy Jenny (1929) and the thriller Dishonored Lady* (1930).

The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. .

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