Hay Player

Claire Tomalin

Mrs. Jordan's Profession

Hay Festival 1995, 
Tomalin's books about Mary Wollstonecraft, Katharine Mansfield and Nelly Ternan have established her as Britain's foremost living biographer. At the end of the C18th Dora Jordan, the subject of her new book, was the greatest comic actress the theatre had known, adored by public and high society alike. She became the consort of the future king William IV, lived with him in domestic happiness, and bore him ten children. She died alone, in obscurity, and when a biography of William IV was published in 1884, her name did not even appear in it. What happened?