Henry Brodribb Irving

Henry Brodribb Irving (1870–1919), English actor and manager, elder son of Sir Henry Irving.

Henry Irving started acting in 1891 and revived many of his father’s famous parts both in England and in America. He also ran his own company, and was manager of several London theatres.[1]

Writings in support of the Alexander Technique

Following F. M. Alexander’s letter ‘Breathing and Cancer’ in Pall Mall Gazette (19 October 1909), Henry Irving wrote a letter which was published in Pall Mall Gazette (21 October 1909) and subsequently in a flyer produced by Alexander.[2] Irving’s letter ran:

Sir,—I see in your issue of last night that Mr Matthias Alexander has generously offered to give to the nation his services in the matter of the physical training of children. As one who has derived great benefit from Mr Alexander’s work, and, as supporting the testimony of Dr Scanes Spicer, whose scientific explanation of some of the principles of Mr Alexander’s method has just appeared, I would venture to suggest that such an offer is one that calls for most serious consideration at the hands of those public authorities who are entrusted with the care and education of our children.

Yours faithfully, (Queen’s Theatre, W., 20 October). [3]

In an advertisement flyer F. M. Alexander quotes a letter received from H. B. Irving, Esq:[4]

2nd February 1906

My Dear Alexander,

It gives me great pleasure to have an opportunity of saying how much I appreciate the good you have done me both in my work and my health. You have made a new man of me. I don’t think I can say more than that. With all good wishes,

(Signed) H. B. Irving

A signed picture dedicated to F. M. Alexander is now with STAT. (Reproduced by permission of STAT.)

A short biography of Henry B. Irving was published in ‘Pupils of F. M. Alexander’ by Francesca Greenoak.[5]

Henry Brodribb Irving *5 August 1870 – †17 October 1919


[1] P. Hartnoll (ed.), The Concise Oxford Companion to the Theatre (1972), p. 268.
[2] Articles and Lectures by F. Matthias Alexander, edited by Jean M. O. Fischer (Mouritz, 1995), pp. 86-88.
[3] Pall Mall Gazette, 21 October 1909.
[4] Articles and Lectures by F. Matthias Alexander, edited by Jean M. O. Fischer (Mouritz, 1995), back of jacket.
[5] ‘Pupils of F. M. Alexander’ by Francesca Greenoak in The Alexander Journal no. 22 edited by Francsca Greenoak (STAT, 2008), pp. 48–55.