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About Howard Burnham


Howard Burnham as CS Lewis


 Howard Burnham as C.S. Lewis, one of approximately fifty characters that he offers in witty and informative first person 'living history' encounters.

   About Howard Burnham  

 Howard Burnham was born in Bournemouth, England. He claims American blood from his paternal grandfather, a much-traveled Californian mining engineer, who married a British girl in South Africa during the Boer War and is buried in Cannes, France. His great-uncle, Major Frederick R. Burnham, DSO, a scout and explorer, warrants an entry in the American Dictionary of National Biography. Burnham’s namesake ancestor, First Lieutenant Howard Burnham, U.S.A., was killed on the first day at Chickamauga.






The present Howard was educated at Clayesmore School, Dorset, and at University College in the University of Durham, where he took honors in Modern History. He has worked as an actor, educator and museum curator. In 1973, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, London. He is the author of Grones Dictionary of Music or Misleading Lives of the Great Composers (Emerson Edition) and several more accurate booklets on theater history, published by London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. He began performing his acclaimed dramatic monologues in 1981 for the first Helmsley Arts Festival, when he depicted John Aubrey, the 17th century antiquary and gossip, in the Tudor range of Helmsley Castle, one of the great medieval castles of Northern England. Subsequent one-man shows have featured Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear, Charles Dickens, the French romantic poet Theophile Gautier, Laurence Sterne, “the Unfortunate Doctor Dodd” (Shakespeare’s first anthologist), Joseph Rowntree (the Quaker philanthropist), and Thomas Hardy.






 In 1998, he settled in Columbia, SC, with his wife, Sandra, an Examiner for London’s Royal Academy of Dance. Howard has been a Sir Evelyn Wrench Lecturer for the English-Speaking Union of the United States, touring nationwide. He is on the Approved Artist Roster of the South Carolina Arts Commission, and a Literary Resident of the Richland County Public Library. Howard’s American Revolutionary War programs include "Never Play Hockey With A Bishop: Lord Cornwallis in the South" (which played repeatedly from 2002 to 2013 at every major site associated with the earl’s campaign,) and characterizations of Ban Tarleton, Tom Paine, Horatio Gates and Thomas Sumter. His companion piece to Lord Cornwallis: Thirty Wagons and a Wine Cellar: Johnny Burgoyne and Saratoga plays annually at Bunker Hill, Fort Ti and Saratoga. His Civil War one-man show, "The Lion, the Eagle and Dixie: A British Perspective on the War between the States as seen by the Artist-Journalist, Frank Vizetelly", has played at Shiloh Military Park, the SC State Museum and Manassas Battlefield. Other popular shows have been as Winston Churchill, Captain Smith of the Titanic, Shakespeare, George Bernard Shaw,  King James VI & I for the Jamestown Foundation of Virginia's celebration of America's big (400th) birthday in May of 2007, and Ian Fleming of James Bond fame for his centennial in 2008.






In 2009, he created characterizations of the 'forgotten founding father' Charles Pinckney for the National Park Service, Ansel Adams for the Columbia Museum of Art, and Edward "Doc" Ricketts & Robert Louis Stevenson for Monterey, CA. In 2010 he devised a program celebrating the history of golf. In 2011 he created a program on the aged Marquis de Lafayette's visit to the USA in 1824/5. In 2012 for the sesquicentennial of the outbreak of the Civil War, he  reworked his acclaimed Frank Vizetelly, ace war reporter, program. For 2013, he offered a special program to mark the bicentennial of "Pride and Prejudice"- 'My dearest Jane: the Reverend Henry Austen recalls his sister in 1850', a new Alfred  Hitchcock program - 'Hitch in Hollywood', 'Patton, Rommel and Monty' - a survey of the three most charismatic WWII generals, and an exploration of the banality of evil - 'Brickendrop: Joachim von Ribbentrop, Hitler's "genius" diplomat'.






 IIn 2013, he relocated with his family to Pacific Grove, CA, where he continues to offer his programs in libraries, retirement communities and at regular performances at The Little House in Jewel Park, PG.












Requested honorarium: $350-500 (plus travel and when necessary lodging)





 Howard Burnham as General Thomas "Gamecock" Sumter at the Battle of Blackstocks Commemoration