As a result of her mother’s work, in her youth Lilian appears to have grown up in the company of a close circle of family relatives.
These included her aunt and first cousins, the Pococks, a long-established and prominent City and North London family of well-to-do merchants and solicitors.
A fascinating collection of manuscript maps by Lilian, now preserved in the British Library are inscribed with her address in Brighton at this time.
The maps that she produced during this period clearly reflect her earlier experiences on the stage and her enduring love and passion for the pantomime.
Several further accidents bedevilled the production in the ensuing days, with one of the principal female trapeze artists also suffering a severe fall. Nonetheless it was at Wallack’s Theatre that Lilian herself achieved her first great popular success in America, in a series of lively performances of the Comic song, Lardy dah, Lardy dah!
A wonderful social satire, the song recounts the tale of a young girl who admires a handsome but impoverished young city “swell”, a would-be toff trying keep up appearances, endeavouring to impress the ladies, and trying to cut a dash in high society.
But it is all show and no substance and behind the swell’s high-rolling facade lie bogus diamonds, paper-glued patent leather shoes that let in the rain, and cheap attire and trappings that unfortunately only serve to further betray his true origins and precarious financial situation: It was this song Lardy dah, Lardy dah!