|Photo by Rowan Lennon|
|Image used with the kind permission of Matthew Lloyd (www.arthurlloyd.co.uk)|
The next couple of years saw Marie develop a reputation in Ireland as a skilled vocalist, appearing at the Assembly Rooms at Benner's Hotel, Tralee: ‘Miss Marie Basquerville, the celebrated soprano vocalist from the Theatre Royal Dublin will make her first appearance on Wednesday 22 June 1869’. She made several appearances with the youthful Brothers Clifford (Francis and Timothy, aged just nine) in Sketches by the Wayside, performing songs such as I Dote Upon the Military from Offenbach’s 1867 operetta La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein. We have an idea of Marie’s skill in a duet with Francis Clifford, in which her singing was described as bravura and staccato, suggesting she was a skilled coloratura soprano who specialised in leaps, trills and elaborate runs on the melody in songs like In the Moonlight’s Silvery Beam and Will You Buy My Wants. She also appeared at the Theatre Royal Limerick but reached the peak of her career arriving at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane to appear in The Dragon of Wantley in December 1870, which was the theatre’s prestigious Christmas pantomime written by the celebrated E.L Blanchard. These annual spectacles involved gorgeous scenery, a ballet, clowns and musical interludes and Marie appeared alongside the Vokes sisters (Rosina, Jessie and Victoria).
|Christ Church, Albany Street (image courtesy of https://www.british-history.ac.uk)|
At the time of his marriage Walter lived in the family home in Hampstead with his parents and siblings. He had trained as a civil engineer but became a hardworking and successful architect who joined Kelly & Lawes in 1870 and undertook the rebuilding of the Globe Theatre the same year. In 1871 he oversaw alterations to the St James Theatre and was later appointed Mayor of Westminster and Dover, as well as a member of the London County Council. In January 1872 his father William passed away and was interred in Highgate Cemetery West, after which Walter travelled to Dublin to design parts of the city’s Exhibition of Arts, Industries & Manufactures. While he was away Marie, whose flourishing career seemingly ended following marriage, contracted tuberculosis and passed away at home on 12 December 1872 from pneumonia and hemoptysis (the coughing of blood). She died with Walter’s mother Amelia by her side and was buried opposite her father-in-law William.