Things that Make the Manolo Laugh: Lessons in Acting

Lessons in Acting - Astonishment

Manolo says, the Manolo loves this 19th century work, described as the “Worst (and possibly funniest) book on acting ever written.

Lessons in Acting was first published in 1889 by Albert Webster Edgerly, under his customary pen-name, “Edmund Shaftesbury”. It’s an attempt to teach acting by someone hopelessly unqualified for the task. And it’s hilarious.

And indeed it is most hilarious…

RULE 31—Passionate kissing. This should never be hurried, unless many repetitions are given. The lover puts his arm (the arm nearest the lady), about her shoulders, obliquely down the back and under her arm a little higher than the waist. His other arm encircles her waist. Her hand (the one farthest from him) is about his neck. Her head falls back upon his shoulder, the face being upturned to his, and the mouth ready. If the love and passion are REAL, he does not kiss often, but long. He approaches her rosy lips with gentleness, yet firmness, and the kiss has no force of contact but pressure in its continuance. It is not necessary to practice this much.

And the illustrations are delightful.
Lessons in Acting - Flattery
More of these marvelously ridiculous lessons may be sampled at the website devoted to the book.

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