By Katherine Newey (auth.)
Women's Theatre Writing in Victorian Britain is the 1st booklet to make a finished learn of ladies playwrights within the British theatre from 1820 to 1918. It appears to be like at how ladies playwrights negotiated their own identities as writers, and examines the feminine culture of playwriting which dramatises the imperative adventure of women's lives round the subject matters of domestic, the country, and the location of ladies in marriage and the relatives. The ebook additionally comprises an intensive Appendix of authors and performs, so as to be an invaluable reference device for college kids and students in nineteenth-century reports and theatre historians.
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Extra resources for Women’s Theatre Writing in Victorian Britain
57 Punch converted the whole competition into a running joke, with spoof entries appearing in the magazine throughout 1843 and 1844, collected by Gilbert A’Beckett in Scenes from Rejected Comedies. This was the typical banter of the literary and theatrical demi-monde of the time; but it turned into vicious criticism and cliquery when Gore’s play was performed. The ‘literary gentleman’s club’58 detected a boundary jumper, and closed ranks to repel the ‘lady’ invader of professional men’s territory.
The different careers of Isabel Hill and Fanny Kemble illustrate one of the major distinctions in the late Romantic theatre between those whose work in the theatre was part of a family business, and those who had to find other ways in; a distinction which endured until the 1860s. But Hill and Kemble are not simply opposable as an ‘outsider’ and an ‘insider,’ as useful as this opposition might be. Both negotiate a combination of roles and personae within a complicated ideological framework – all the more complex because they were working in the theatre during a time of fundamental change in its organization which rendered the theatre at its most unstable for several generations.
Something, too, can be found of the power of her personality which made her a celebrity, as famous for being herself as for what she did. However, the power of her writing can make us forget that Kemble was writing almost fifty years after the event. ’36 This is part of Corbett’s broader argument about the formation of the middle-class female subject in the late Victorian and Edwardian periods, and her use of actresses’ autobiographies to demonstrate the cultural power of patriarchal paradigms, arguing that even these apparently independent women worked within ‘naturalized, gendered conventions for theatrical and textual performance which increasingly conform to middleclass standards for domestic femininity’ (108).