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Actresses, Gender and the Eighteenth-Century Stage : Playing Women

Brooks, Helen E.M. (2015) Actresses, Gender and the Eighteenth-Century Stage : Playing Women. Palgrave, Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire, 201 pp. ISBN 978-1-137-48621-9. E-ISBN 978-1-137-48622-6. (doi:10.1057/9781137486226) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)
Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/9781137486226

Abstract

Over the course of the eighteenth century notions of what it meant to be a woman changed radically. Through examining the work of actresses including Anne Oldfield, Peg Woffington, Dora Jordan, and Sarah Siddons, Helen Brooks reveals how female performers both responded, and contributed to, these changes. Ranging from the masculine rhetorical skill of Oldfield and the androgynous cross-dressing of Woffington in the first half of the century, as well as the performances of 'self' cultivated by Jordan and Siddons at the end, this book reveals how actresses reacted to the cultural shift from the one to two-sex body, and from a protean to a Romantic model of self, by developing new ways of 'playing women'. Consistent throughout the century however was the economic motivation behind these gendered performances: as Brooks emphasizes, actresses were ambitious entrepreneurs who, unlike other professional women, succeeded because, rather than in spite of, their gender.

Item Type: Book
DOI/Identification number: 10.1057/9781137486226
Uncontrolled keywords: actress, eighteenth-century, theatre, theatre history, acting history
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1655 Drama
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theatre
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of Arts > Drama and Theatre
Depositing User: Helen Brooks
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2015 20:30 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 16:00 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/50465 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Brooks, Helen E.M.: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2650-0524
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