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29 August 2017

The acting career of “The Jersey Lily” commemorated by Jersey Post


Jersey Post is issuing a set of eight stamps featuring photographs of actress Lillie Langtry, one of Jersey’s most famous daughters, to commemorate 100 years since her retirement from the stage.

 “Lillie Langtry (also known as the Jersey Lily) was an iconic figure; from humble beginnings in Jersey she moved in the highest social circles and received critical acclaim on the world stage and, when nearly bankrupt, re-invented herself as an actress and entrepreneur, challenging Victorian society’s attitude to women”, said Rachel Mackenzie, Philatelic Marketing Manager at Jersey Post.  “This issue, to commemorate 100 years since Lillie Langtry’s retirement from the stage, depicts Lillie in some of the many roles that delighted audiences both at home and overseas.”

Lillie Langtry, the Jersey-born actress sometimes referred to as ‘the Jersey Lily’, was born on 13 October 1853 at the Old Rectory in the Island’s parish of St Saviour. Her acting career offered her a variety of roles, some of which are commemorated within this stamp issue, marking 100 years since she retired from the stage.

Lillie made her first appearance on stage in 1881 as Lady Clara in an amateur production of A Fair Encounter at Twickenham Town Hall. It seems she found her first acting experience quite daunting, initially forgetting her lines, but Lillie was persuaded back on stage and she made her debut before the London public as Kate Hardcastle in Oliver Goldsmith’s She Stoops to Conquer at the Haymarket Theatre. It was not until 1891, aged 37, that Lillie made her first appearance in a Jersey theatre, The Theatre Royal. Sadly, the theatre was destroyed by fire in 1899 but a new theatre was soon built in its place and Lillie opened The Opera House, on 9 July 1900, performing in its first play, Sydney Grundy’s The Degenerates.

She last appeared on the stage in America in 1917 and later that year made her final theatre appearance in London.  Lillie Langtry spent her last years in Monaco where she died on 12 February 1929 and was finally laid to rest alongside her parents at St. Saviour's Church in Jersey.

Jersey Post’s Lillie Langtry Stamps and Miniature Sheet will be available to buy from all branches of Jersey Post from 22 September 2017. Philatelic stamp products such as First Day Covers and Presentation Packs will be available from the Jersey post offices at Broad Street, St Helier and Rue Des Pres, St Saviour on issue day and can be ordered now at or by telephoning the Jersey Philatelic Bureau on: 00 44 (0)1534 516320.

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