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Robert Paul and the Origins of British Cinema$
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Ian Christie

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226105628

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226610115.001.0001

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“True Till Death!”

“True Till Death!”

Family Business

(p.105) Chapter 5 “True Till Death!”
Robert Paul and the Origins of British Cinema

Ian Christie

University of Chicago Press

The Alhambra dancer Ellen Daws married Paul in 1897, after an unconventional courtship, according to the memoir of a family friend. Neither family approved of this theatre romance, although Ellen had been supported in her career by an aunt who became Britain’s first female theatre licensee, and was later described as indispensable to Paul’s businesses. The first of their three children died at seven months, apparently after an accident linked to film making, and two subsequent children died shortly after their birth. Yet the Pauls appear to have been sociable, entertaining friends at the fashionable Café Royal, and studio employees at their country retreat. Paul was a keen motorist, fined for speeding in 1907 and later recorded tinkering with cars after moving from the house they had built beside the studio in Muswell Hill to an impressive residence near Olympia in Kensington. After his death in 1943, Ellen recorded their courtship motto on his grave.

Keywords:   dancer, child, motorist, Café Royal, Muswell Hill, Kensington, grave

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