WARD, Geneviève. 20822



Autograph Letter Signed ‘Geneviève Ward’, addressed “Dear Sir”, unable to produce plays at present, but prepared “to read Lucrezia”, which would make a fine play, but not in the Crystal Palace. 3 pp. 7 x 4 inches, in good condition. 6 Duke Street, Portland Place, 12 June 1876. Uncommon. Lucy Geneviève Teresa Ward, Countess de Guerbel, DBE (1837 –1922), also known as Countess de Guerbel and, sometimes, albeit inaccurately, as Dame Geneviève Ward, was an American-born Russian soprano and actress. In 1856, aged 19, she married a Russian count, Constantine de Guerbel. After a few years’ stay in Europe, the family returned to New York, and soon afterward made the acquaintance of Henriette Sontag, who encouraged Ward to study singing. When the Ward family returned to Europe, Sontag gave Geneviève a letter of introduction to the composer Rossini. In 1862, after Ward’s last role in La Traviata, she retired due to vocal difficulties. Ward later became a stage actress, noted for dramatic roles. She toured Australia as an actress.