The autobiography of Kitty Marion was written in the early 1930s but never published. It records Marion’s childhood in Germany, her life in British provincial theatre and music hall and her campaigns against the ‘casting couch’, a career as a militant suffragist or suffragette during which she committed numerous acts of arson, was imprisoned and suffered force feeding, and finally her move to America and involvement in the American birth control movement. The Epilogue details her life in New York after the end of the autobiography, including her work in the Federal Theatre Project, while the three appendices reproduce extracts from key archive documents which throw additional light on the autobiography. An Introduction outlines the problems Marion incurred trying to publish her story, its subsequent history and addresses some of the issues that her story raises about women’s history of activism.
This book analyses the development of male leisure against the changing notions of citizenship which underpinned perceptions of British society during the period 1850-1945. It opens with an examination of the 'leisure' problem of the middle decades of the nineteenth century. After the defeat of Chartism and associated challenges to the employers' right to organise the workplace, factory owners, the clergy and philanthropists established schemes of rational recreation designed to attract and educate working-class males. The book explores how schemes of rational recreation attempted to create the model citizen and the impact of these strategies on male working-class leisure. Taking three influential leisure activities - drink, the music hall and association football - the book explores their impact on both concepts of citizenship and male leisure patterns. In addition, commercial leisure also highlighted the marked gender divides in leisure activities found within working-class households. The book investigates the generational issues that shaped male working-class leisure. The increase in non-apprenticed semi-skilled work, particularly in the 'new' industry regions, raised fears that monotonous working practices and new leisure activities were a dangerous social cocktail. Moreover the book investigates how, during the late Victorian and early Edwardian era, the problem of a 'degenerate' youth became entwined with anxieties over the future of empire. It further contextualises male leisure against the dominant concerns between 1918 and 1945. This era saw the suburbanisation of British cities, continued anxieties over male citizenry and increased international tensions that led to war.
Twenty-first-century Scottish play-acting draws depth and energy from a European and Western tradition of dreaming Scottish dreams, and this tradition dates back to at least the late eighteenth century, to the beginnings of European Romanticism. This book explores how contemporary celebrations of Scotland build upon earlier Scottish fantasies. The Scottish dreamscape is one of several pre-modern counter-worlds which have been approached through imitation in the past. The book examines the 'Scotland' that is on the play-actors' minds. The Scottish dreamscape was formed in an eighteenth- and nineteenth-century process now best known as Highlandism. It was then that Scotland became associated with the aesthetics and supposed characteristics of its Highland periphery. The book also explores the Scottish dreamscape's spread via the channels of the British Empire and American popular culture. It identifies five key carriers which helped to disseminate the Scottish aesthetic across the world, namely epic poetry, the Highland regiments, music hall entertainment, Hollywood films, and romance novels. The book further focuses on fieldwork conducted in 2009 and 2010. It sheds some light on the different forms of Scottish play-acting, on musicians, athletes, commemorators, and historical re-enactors. The pipers and athletes do not imitate the past; they perform in what they hope are old but living Scottish traditions. Commemorators and historical re-enactors have a different aim. They seek to recreate the past in the present. Finally, the book identifies some of the main reasons for the Scottish dreamscape's special resonance in northern and western Europe.
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.
Imperial history and the imperial idea have been examined almost entirely in a centrifugal manner, as the radiation of influences from Britain into its wider hinterland. This book explores the manifestations of the imperial idea, from the trappings of royalty through writers like G. A. Henty to the humble cigarette card. It uses popular imperialism as a focus for the examination of the theatre, the cinema, education, juvenile literature, imperial exhibitions, youth movements, and a variety of imperial propaganda bodies between the mid-nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries. The most aggressive and innovative advertisers of the day were companies dependent on the imperial economic nexus, in tea, chocolate, soaps and oils, tobacco, meat extracts, shipping, and later rubber. Middle and upper-class attachment to the music hall developed out of its success among the working class. Radio conveyed a sense of the unity of Empire, at least in the public mind, such as the Edwardian imperial societies had found unattainable. After the Second World War the British Broadcasting Corporation (B.B.C.) continued to present a vision of a beneficent and regenerative Empire. The great exhibitions which from the 1880s came to be dominated by the imperial theme offer the most striking examples of both conscious and unconscious approaches to imperial propaganda. By the 1880s the new morality had come to be wedded to the late nineteenth-century world view and was suffused with the patriotic, racial, and militarist elements which together made up the new popular imperialism.
Music played a major role in the life of a global ideological phenomenon like the British Empire. This book demonstrates that music has to be recognised as one of the central characteristics of the cultural imperialism of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It begins with an account of the imperial music of Sir Edward Elgar and Sir Arthur Sullivan and the establishing of an imperial musical idiom. The book discusses the music composed for or utilized by official occasions: coronations, jubilees, exhibitions, tattoos, Armistice Day and Empire Day. Community singing was also introduced at the Aldershot Military Tattoo in 1927, sponsored by the Daily Express. The book examines the imperial content of a range of musical forms: operetta and ballet, films, music hall songs, ballads, hymns and marches. In one of the scenes depicting ballet, Indian dancing girls are ordered to reveal the riches of the land and the Ballet of Jewels. There were two staples of song in the second half of the nineteenth century: the drawing-room ballad and the music-hall song. Sir Henry Coward was Britain's leading chorus-master, and his 1911 musical world tour with Sheffield choir was the high point of his career. The book concludes with a discussion of practitioners of imperial music: the divas Emma Albani, Nellie Melba and Clara Butt, and the baritone Peter Dawson.
Colonial war played a vital part in transforming the reputation of the military and placing it on a standing equal to that of the navy. The book is concerned with the interactive culture of colonial warfare, with the representation of the military in popular media at home, and how these images affected attitudes towards war itself and wider intellectual and institutional forces. It sets out to relate the changing image of the military to these fundamental facts. For the dominant people they were an atavistic form of war, shorn of guilt by Social Darwinian and racial ideas, and rendered less dangerous by the increasing technological gap between Europe and the world. Attempts to justify and understand war were naturally important to dominant people, for the extension of imperial power was seldom a peaceful process. The entertainment value of war in the British imperial experience does seem to have taken new and more intensive forms from roughly the middle of the nineteenth century. Themes such as the delusive seduction of martial music, the sketch of the music hall song, powerful mythic texts of popular imperialism, and heroic myths of empire are discussed extensively. The first important British war correspondent was William Howard Russell (1820-1907) of The Times, in the Crimea. The 1870s saw a dramatic change in the representation of the officer in British battle painting. Up to that point it was the officer's courage, tactical wisdom and social prestige that were put on display.
Theatrical hierarchy, cultural capital
and the legitimate/illegitimate divide
hroughout the 1866 hearings of the Parliamentary Select Committee on
Theatrical Licensing, the performance of dramatic sketches in musichalls
had been fiercely debated and contested.1 When the proceedings of the Select
Committee on Dramatic Literature re-opened the debate in 1892, tensions
had escalated between the figureheads of the respective industries over the
cultural, hierarchical and economic interests of the legitimate theatre and the
Nineteenth-century musichall was
known as the ‘fount of patriotism’. While some observers
praised this development, 1 others such as J. A. Hobson condemned the musichall for manipulating working-class opinion in favour of exploitative
imperialist policies. Hobson was convinced, by the absence of mass
opposition to the Boer War and by the working-class celebrations of
To many writers and historians there has
only been one form of imperial theatre, the musichall. In this they
have taken their cue from J. A. Hobson, who saw the musichall as the
prime villain in the dissemination of jingoism, ‘a more potent
educator than the church, the school, the political meeting, or even
than the press’. 1 The art of the musichall, he went on