Annette Nelson was born in Madrid to an English naval captain. In 1828, she made her acting debut in London as Peggy in a play called "The Country Girl." Nelson first came to the United States in 1833 to New Orleans. In 1836, she managed the Richmond Hill Theatre in New York for several months, a period during Winter noted that she was a "reigning beauty in thousands of hearts" (Winter 121-2). She made her debut in New York the following year at Park Theatre before performing later that same year at the Chestnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia (Brown 49).
She met John Brougham as a widow named "Mrs. Coppelson Hodges," and they married in 1847 (Winter 121; Brown 49). As the wife of John Brougham, actress Annette Nelson was best known as “Mrs. Brougham.” She performed in several of her husband’s plays, including Love and Murder: A Farce in One Act, Dombey and Son and two productions of The Game of Life. Winter remembered her as "fascinated more by loveliness than by extraordinary dramatic talent," after her death in 1870 (Winter 122).
"Mrs. Brougham" played the role of "Ninette" in the original cast.
"Mrs. Brougham" played "Widow Joybell" in the original cast.
"Mrs. Brougham" played the role of "Mrs. Lawrence De Merfie" in the original cast.
"John Brougham provided a four-act drama called 'Dombey and Son' for Burton's Theatre, New York, in 1848, as soon as the work was issued in its completed form, and undertook the part of Major Bagstock and Jack Bunsby himself, while his wife [Annette Nelson] played Susan Nipper" (226). She reprised the role in "Captain Cuttle," a one-act based on Dombey and Son that ran at Burton's Theatre in New York City beginning on January 14th, 1850, and was, according to Fitz-Gerald, "a complete success" (227).[pages:226-27]
Personne writes that "Mrs. Brougham" has brought out "the Nelson sisters, daughters of the celebrated composer" to positive critical response. Personne, however, finds the performance dull (3).[pages:3]
Referred to as "Mrs. Brougham" (3).
Reports that the Nelsons have had a benefit. Alludes to the fact that things did not go well on their benefit night (3).[pages:3]
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