I wonder the meaning of “moved from the fringes of…” in the paragraph below, the translation (in Chinese) is like “he never lose his wealth…”, but I think it does not make sense in this context.

For all his achievements in establishing a classical repertory for the English theatre, and glorifying the spoken tradition of English, Garrick, whose theatre was essentially a stage in which high culture was self-consciously reinvented and venerated, remained fairly peripheral to the key levers of power. So long as he conformed to the standards of respectability of his day and avoided scandal, he was accepted by polite society. But the welcome he received was conditional, and he never moved from the fringes of wealth, power and influence. Artistic licence was embroidered with the caveats of established power. The poverty and neglect suffered by Mozart in Vienna demonstrated the fate of artists when the taint of scandal turned the Court against them.

cited from Celebrity (Chris Rojek)

1 Answer 1


Fringe has the meaning of limit, border, separation line.

In this case, it is the limit between being poor, weak and uninfluential on one side, and being wealthy, powerful and influential on the other side.

So he was on the unfortunate side of the life, but sometimes he was between the two worlds, if he avoided scandal. He was never really on the winning side (with respect to the 3 mentioned "conditions").

This meaning is supported by the analogy with the situation of Mozart, who also suffered of poverty and neglect.

  • Thanks a lot! I get it. And the the word 'conditional' in the same sentence also make sense now. Thanks again for your explicit explanation!
    – Y anfanyu
    Feb 15, 2019 at 9:08
  • You are welcome. You may select the answer as correct, if you do not need other clarifications.
    – virolino
    Feb 15, 2019 at 9:41

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