The genealogy and diffusion of a ‘popular’ theatrical genre and experience, 1780–1830
Carlotta Sorba

3 Melodrama in post-revolutionary Europe: the genealogy and diffusion of a ‘popular’ theatrical genre and experience, 1780–1830 carlotta sorba I n September 1820 a newspaper from the city of Pau, Department of the Pyrenees in the south-west of France, recounted a journalist’s tale of how, finding himself in a deep and remote valley in the Béarn, he approached a child carrying a bundle of wood on her head. Upon being asked what she was called, she did not reply, as one might have anticipated, Jeanne or Marguerite, but rather Coelina, the far-from-common name of

in Leisure cultures in urban Europe, c.1700–1870
J.S. Bratton

business interests. She therefore sees the jingoistic tone as imposed upon a working class which previously accepted the glorification of the nation only in the military, naval and slave melodramas staged in the saloons, in which it was always offered with the qualification that ‘the goal of British power was freedom’ (p. 41). It is unfortunate for her argument that Richard Price, also attempting to

in Acts of supremacy
Heidi J. Holder

The writers of nineteenth-century spectacular melodrama made frequent use of colonial settings, particularly India and Africa. In their dramas the clear demarcation between good and evil so vital to the genre was given a strong geographical justification, and, as John MacKenzie has noted, ‘a powerful racial twist’. 1 Moreover, the necessary sense of a hostile, unjust

in Acts of supremacy
Technology and spiritualism in nineteenth to twenty-first-century art and culture
Editors: Sas Mays and Neil Matheson

Within the visual arts, speculation concerning the paranormal, haunting, spiritualism, and spirit photography expanded enormously in the first decade of the twenty-first century. Focusing on people's complex relationship with technology, this book explores our culture's continued fascination with the spectral, the ghostly and the paranormal. Informed by history and the visual tradition of spiritualism and psychical research, it cites that tradition within our contemporary concerns, such as landscape and environment, and recent technological developments. The book discusses the role of vitalism in contemporary theory, reflecting on what Bergson's interest in spiritualism suggests about the historical and theoretical complexities that lie behind the current uses of vitalism. It examines the twitching gestural engagements with a variety of devices, instruments, and technologies, including the typewriter, the pianola, the slate, and the phonograph. The book highlights that spiritualist phenomena are the result of mendacity on the one side and credulous belief on the other; Dada photomontage the result of painfully keen-eyed despair and a powerful drive to experiment. Resiting spirit photography and the production of 'ectoplasm' within the theatrical tradition of melodrama, the book considers spiritualist manifestations in terms of 'performances for camera'. It pays attention to exhibitions, staged in galleries in the UK and the United States between 2003 and 2007, which paired spirit photographs with examples of contemporary art photography. Finally, the book considers various spectral emanations moving across space and time, and across different discourses the work of John Ruskin, to discuss the relations between haunting and ecological catastrophe.

Rosalind Crone

4 The ‘Blood-Stained Stage’ revisited J em m y Cat nach and the Staffordshire potters were not the only businessmen to make a substantial profit from the murder of William Weare by John Thurtell near Watford in October 1823.    Even before the outcome of Thurtell’s trial, the Surrey Theatre on London’s south bank advertised the production of a new melodrama based on the tragedy, ‘The Gamblers’, to be performed nightly from 17 November. Playbills drew in enthusiastic audiences with the promise of ‘Fac-similes of those Scenes, now so much the object of general

in Violent Victorians
Abstract only
The melodramatic and the pantomimic
Katherine Newey

3 Bubbles of the day: the melodramatic and  the pantomimic Katherine Newey A s the two previous chapters have argued, melodrama was a vital frame of reference, or in Raymond Williams’s term, a ‘structure of feeling’, for nineteenth-century oppositional and radical politics. Poole and Sanders chart the fluidity of form and action between public politics, performance and the aesthetics and practices of the early nineteenth-century stage. In this chapter, I will explore the ways in which pantomime, the other dominant popular theatrical genre of the period, offers

in Politics, performance and popular culture
Melodrama and politics in late Georgian England
Robert Poole

1 ‘To the last drop of my blood’: melodrama  and politics in late Georgian England Robert Poole Men … in periods of revolutionary crisis anxiously conjure up the spirits of the past to their service and borrow from them names, battle cries and costumes in order to present the new scene of the world in this timehonoured disguise and this borrowed language. Karl Marx1 M elodrama was the dramatic signature of the nineteenth century. In 1965 the theatre historian Michael Booth described it thus: Melodrama presents an ideal world of courage, love, loyalty and

in Politics, performance and popular culture
Jeffrey Richards

as the Indian Mutiny, the Australian and South African Gold Rushes and the Second Boer War, not to mention 200 versions of the classic colonialist text Robinson Crusoe.8 Porter cannot be blamed for not having read Gould but he can be criticised for completely ignoring the work of Michael Booth. In his pioneering English Melodrama, published as long ago as 1965, Booth identified a genre of imperial melodrama which centred on the re-creation of imperial campaigns and expeditions. What could be more imperial than the 1885 melodrama Khartoum played at Sanger’s Grand

in Politics, performance and popular culture
Abstract only
The British Empire and the stage, 1790–1930

Imperialist discourse interacted with regional and class discourses. Imperialism's incorporation of Welsh, Scots and Irish identities, was both necessary to its own success and one of its most powerful functions in terms of the control of British society. Most cultures have a place for the concept of heroism, and for the heroic figure in narrative fiction; stage heroes are part of the drama's definition of self, the exploration and understanding of personal identity. Theatrical and quasi-theatrical presentations, whether in music hall, clubroom, Shakespeare Memorial Theatre or the streets and ceremonial spaces of the capital, contributed to that much-discussed national mood. This book examines the theatre as the locus for nineteenth century discourses of power and the use of stereotype in productions of the Shakespearean history canon. It discusses the development of the working class and naval hero myth of Jack Tar, the portrayal of Ireland and the Irish, and the portrayal of British India on the spectacular exhibition stage. The racial implications of the ubiquitous black-face minstrelsy are focused upon. The ideology cluster which made up the imperial mindset had the capacity to re-arrange and re-interpret history and to influence the portrayal of the tragic or comic potential of personal dilemmas. Though the British may have prided themselves on having preceded America in the abolition of slavery and thus outpacing Brother Jonathan in humanitarian philanthropy, abnegation of hierarchisation and the acceptance of equality of status between black and white ethnic groups was not part of that achievement.

Piero Garofalo, Elizabeth Leake and Dana Renga

engineer a “forgetting” of traumas that they o ­ riginally inflicted on victims’, a question of particular interest to the case of internal exile during Fascism with regard to recent discussions of exile as va­cation.9 Ultimately, however, remnants of the trauma-​inducing event return in the guise of symptoms, and Kaplan looks towards the cinema, with a particular eye on melodrama, to investigate ways in which a culture ‘can unconsciously address its traumatic hauntings’.10 Most of the films in the corpus of Italian cinematic works dealing with internal exile, we argue

in Internal exile in Fascist Italy