As a fan of well-written biographies, however, I had some trouble with this one. I enjoyed the facts and the family mythology that the author weaved together, but something about the writing didn't work for me. The language seemed stilted, as if the author was trying to make his book sound old-fashioned, just because he happened to be writing about a figure from the past.
And I sympathize about footnotes being a drag, but I actually wished for them while I was reading this book. Maybe more detailed endnotes would have worked. I guess I spent too much time in academia, but I love a well-written endnote.
Margot Peters's bio The House of Barrymore is a much easier read, and you get a fair amount of info on Maurice Barrymore, even if he's not the star of the show.