Once again, Essie Goode Robeson, 26, has convinced her husband of less than a year, Columbia law student Paul, about to turn 24, to take a break from his studies and appear in a play.
Essie and Paul Robeson
Taboo opened here a few nights ago. Written by Mary Hoyt Wiborg, 34 [“Hoytie” to her posh family], now living in Paris, the play is set before the Civil War on a Louisiana plantation and in Africa. The star, English actress Margaret Wycherly, 40, is the only white actor in the cast,
Paul accepted the part reluctantly. He is worried about the effect this might have on his grades at Columbia, where he is doing well. Although—Essie was right the last time she convinced him to appear in a new play, Simon the Cyrenian, back before they were married.
This time, Essie has come to every rehearsal to take notes and give him advice about how to improve his performance. She is convinced that, even with a Columbia law degree, it is going to be difficult for a Black man to get a good job. Paul has received good reviews so far, and, with his talent for acting and singing, Essie figures that at least he will have something to fall back on.
Paul Robeson in Taboo
“Such Friends”: 100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”: The Literary 1920s. Volumes I and II covering 1920 and 1921 are available as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, and also in print and e-book formats on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. For more information, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This June I will be talking about the Stein family salons just before and just after the Great War, at Carnegie-Mellon University in their Osher Lifelong Learning program.
Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is also available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in both print and e-book versions.
If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”: Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.