Helen Carte (1852 – 1913)

From Wikipedia:

“Helen Carte Boulter (born Susan Helen Couper Black in Wigtown, Scotland), also known as Helen Lenoir, was the second wife of impresario and hotelier Richard D’Oyly Carte. Richard died in 1901 leaving the theatre, opera company and hotel to Helen, who assumed full control of the family businesses. She married Stanley Boulter, a barrister, in 1902, but she continued to use the surname Carte in her business dealings. Boulter assisted her in the Savoy businesses. She was a founder member of the Society of West End Theatre Managers, along with Frank Curzon, George Edwardes, Arthur Bourchier and sixteen others.”

From: Ritz and Escoffier: The Hotelier, The Chef, and the Rise of the Leisure Class (2018), by Luke Barr:

Helen had made more than a dozen trips to America (between 1879 – 1889), many more than Richard, overseeing the Savoy’s touring company and establishing copyright protections for Gilbert and Sullivan’s works…There were frequent visits to San Francisco, Philadelphia, and New Orleans with the touring company, but mostly Helen had worked out of a small office in New York, on the corner of Broadway and Thirty-Second Street. It was from there, for example, that she helped arrange American lecture tours for D’Oyly Carte clients, including essayist Matthew Arnold and playwright Oscar Wilde.

The Wilde tour had been a sensation, timed to coincide with the 1882 New York opening of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Patience. The play was a satire of the aesthetic movement – the effete, decadent, sensuous art and poetry of the 1870s – and of the self-serious aesthetes themselves. The main character, Bunthorne, wore a velvet jacket, knee breeches, and a monocle; carried a sunflower wherever he went; and offered pronouncements on art and beauty. Bunthorne was loosely modelled on the painter James McNeill Whistler and the poet Algernon Swinburne, but it was Wilde (pictured), who had just published his first collection of poetry, whom D’Oyly Carte had hired to tour the United States. There was a great deal of interest in the aesthetic movement, and in the endlessly witty and peculiarly dressed Wilde. In city after city, he gave lectures on the decorative arts and poetry, travelling from New York to St. Louis to San Francisco. The tour was an enormous success, and was extended to last almost a year. Helen made all the arrangements.”

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