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By Tracy C. Davis

ISBN-10: 0415056527

ISBN-13: 9780415056526

In Victorian society performers have been drawn from various category backgrounds, and loved a distinct measure of social mobility. however the dwelling and dealing stipulations of girl performers have been very diversified from these in their male colleagues. Their segregation and focus in low-status jobs, like dancing, assured financial lack of confidence. Their makes an attempt to reconcile sexuality and the feminine existence cycle to a bodily difficult, itinerant profession less than consistent public scrutiny resulted in assumptions approximately actresses' morality. those assumptions have been consistently strengthened via theatrical conventions which mirrored well known pornographic photos, and have been super tough to beat. This booklet will be of curiosity to scholars and academics of theatre reports, women's reviews, and social background.

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Additional info for Actresses as Working Women: Their Social Identity in Victorian England (Gender and Performance Series)

Sample text

The theatre was a classed work place which institutionalized socioeconomic and demographic differences in its hierarchies. As the theatre expanded, the impulse to aggrandize the West End increased exponentially. The historical demography of West End stars should not, however, be substituted for that of the industry as a whole. The movement known as the New History, as advocated by Lawrence Stone and the adherents of the Annales tradition, studies the masses rather than small elites; 3 through sixty years of experimentation New Historians have adapted techniques from the social sciences to carry out such enquiries.

A week,49 and Leman Rede’s list of wages in principal provincial theatres in 1836 shows a range between 18s. 50 This indicates that there was no effective change in the first third of the century. Before she married Charles Calvert in 1856, Adelaide Biddles and her sister Clara earned a combined salary of £2 7s. 51 One 25 ACTRESSES AS WORKING WOMEN source states that in 1853 the maximum rate was £3 to £6 a week,52 but Mayhew indicates that in 1856, 15s. 53 The same low wage is recorded in the 1890s, when touring actresses could be paid as little as £2 a week for utility parts in a number one company, 30s.

Low and uncertain wages could have particular consequences for women, and undoubtedly fuelled popular beliefs about their characters. The theatre blossomed as an employment sphere for women after 1843, and the allure of footlights grew more intense as starring wages escalated in the mid-century, but it was no panacea for ‘surplus women’ and an unattractive alternative in real terms to the drudgery, exploitation, and hazards of needle and domestic trades, teaching and retailing, or industrial and manufacturing jobs.

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Actresses as Working Women: Their Social Identity in Victorian England (Gender and Performance Series) by Tracy C. Davis

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