By Felicity Nussbaum
In eighteenth-century England, actresses have been usually pushed aside as mere prostitutes buying and selling on their sexual energy instead of their skills. but they have been, Felicity Nussbaum argues, valuable to the luck of a newly advertisement theater. city, lately moneyed, and carefully engaged with their audiences, celebrated actresses have been one of the first ladies to accomplish social mobility, cultural authority, and fiscal independence. actually, Nussbaum contends, the eighteenth century may good be referred to as the "age of the actress" within the British theater, given women's impact at the dramatic repertory and, via it, at the definition of femininity.
Treating person celebrity actresses who helped spark a cult of celebrity—especially Anne Oldfield, Susannah Cibber, Catherine Clive, Margaret Woffington, Frances Abington, and George Anne Bellamy—Rival Queens unearths the best way those girls lively problems with nationwide identification, estate, patronage, and type within the context in their dramatic performances. Actresses deliberately heightened their advertisement attraction via catapulting the rivalries between themselves to middle level. in addition they boldly challenged in value the actor-managers who've lengthy ruled eighteenth-century theater heritage and feedback. Felicity Nussbaum combines an emphasis at the actresses themselves with shut research in their various roles in works by way of significant playwrights, together with George Farquhar, Nicholas Rowe, Colley Cibber, Arthur Murphy, David Garrick, Isaac Bickerstaff, and Richard Sheridan. Hers is a entire and unique argument in regards to the significance of actresses because the first smooth topics, actively shaping their public identities to make themselves into celebrated properties.
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In eighteenth-century England, actresses have been often disregarded as mere prostitutes buying and selling on their sexual strength instead of their skills. but they have been, Felicity Nussbaum argues, important to the luck of a newly advertisement theater. city, lately moneyed, and carefully engaged with their audiences, celebrated actresses have been one of the first ladies to accomplish social mobility, cultural authority, and monetary independence.
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