This new biography explores the extraordinary life of Edith Craig (1869-1947), her prolific work in the theatre and her political endeavours for women's suffrage and socialism. At London's Lyceum Theatre in its heyday she worked alongside her mother, Ellen Terry, Henry Irving and Bram Stoker, and gained valuable experience. She was a key figure in creating innovative art theatre work. As director and founder of the Pioneer Players in 1911 she supported the production of women's suffrage drama, becoming a pioneer of theatre aimed at social reform. In 1915 she assumed a leading role with the Pioneer Players in bringing international art theatre to Britain and introducing London audiences to expressionist and feminist drama from Nikolai Evreinov to Susan Glaspell. She captured the imagination of Virginia Woolf, inspiring the portrait of Miss LaTrobe in her 1941 novel Between the Acts, and influenced a generation of actors, such as Sybil Thorndike and Edith Evans. Frequently eclipsed in accounts of theatrical endeavour by her younger brother, Edward Gordon Craig, Edith Craig's contribution both to theatre and to the women's suffrage movement receives timely reappraisal in Katharine Cockin's meticulously researched and wide-ranging biography, released for the seventieth anniversary of Craig's death.
Suffrage and the Arts re-establishes the central role that artistic women and men-from jewellers, portrait painters, embroiderers, through to retailers of 'artistic' products-played in the suffrage campaign in the British Isles. As political individuals, they were foot soldiers who helped sustain the momentum of the movement and as designers, makers and sellers they spread the message of the campaign to new local, national and international audiences, mediating how suffrage activism was understood by society at large. Published to coincide with the centenary of the 1918 Representation of the People Act, which granted the vote to women over the age of thirty meeting a property qualification, this edited collection offers a range of new perspectives and readings of the outpouring of creative responses to the campaign. Contributors, who include historians, art historians, curators, museum professionals and suffrage experts, call upon the historiographical developments of the last thirty years, alongside new archival discoveries, to showcase the vibrancy of ongoing research in this area. Throughout, chapters investigate the wider socio-cultural backdrop to suffrage and the women's movement, the difficult choices that were made between professional, artistic aspirations and political commitment, and how institutional and informal networks influenced creative expression and participation in feminist politics. From shining light on the use of portraiture to bolster the cultural cachet of the militant Women's Social and Political Union, uncovering the links between Victorian interior design, enterprise and suffrage, through to questioning the supposed conservativism of women's art institutions during the campaign and in the inter-war era, Suffrage and the Arts is a timely and important collection which will contribute to a number of scholarly fields.
This collection of new essays explores the role played by women practitioners in the arts during the period often referred to as the Belle Epoque, a turn of the century period in which the modern media (audio and film recording, broadcasting, etc.) began to become a reality. Exploring the careers and creative lives of both the famous (Sarah Bernhardt) and the less so (Pauline Townsend) across a remarkable range of artistic activity from composition through oratory to fine art and film directing, these essays attempt to reveal, in some cases for the first time, women’s true impact on the arts at the turn of the 19th century.
The Methuen Drama Book of Suffrage Plays is an anthology of eight exciting pieces written for and by members of the Actresses Franchise League from 1909-13. Immediately playable, they offer strong, varied roles for female casts, while also providing invaluable source material to students and scholars from a wide range of disciplines. Featuring 'How The Vote Was Won' which remains one of the most popular and well known suffrage plays, the volume also includes seven shorter works: 'Lady Geraldine's Speech' (1909), a fantastic, fun piece for actresses. Lady Geraldine hasn't thought through the Suffrage cause and, on a visit to an old school friend meets some charismatic, successful and intelligent women who soon enlighten and encourage her on to the right path! 'Pot and Kettle' (1909), a comic piece in which a young woman returns to her family in great distress having assaulted a suffragette who was sitting near her at a Anti-Suffragist meeting. 'Miss Appleyard's Awakening' about an anti-suffrage campaigner who finds herself in the home of a sympathizer but ends up inadvertently drawing her hostesses' attention to the contradictions in her arguments 'Her Vote' by the actor and playwright Henry Esmond which provides an interesting male viewpoint on the movement, criticizing the young suffragist for wanting to be part of a movement about which she seems to understand little. 'The Anti-Suffragist or The Other Side', a charming, clever monologue about a sheltered young woman who finds herself increasingly involved with her local Anti-Suffrage society and increasingly puzzled by what she learns there. 'The Mother's Meeting', an entertaining monologue that uses a working class character to expose the inconsistencies in the Anti-Suffrage arguments. 'Tradition' was first performed at a matinee for the Woman Suffrage Party held at the Berkeley Theatre in New York City on Saturday 24 January 1913. The plays featured articulate the arguments of the Suffrage Movement through a variety of styles, both comic and serious, and perfectly illustrate the use of drama as a medium for social change and entertainment. Together with illustrations and an introduction charting the history of the Actresses Franchise League and exploring the context and provenance of the plays, this is an excellent resource for both study and performance.
Combining historical reappraisal with accounts of the culture of the women's suffrage movement, this unique volume presents a selection of recent feminist scholarship on the struggle for women's suffrage.
The Saturday Review of Politics Literature Science Art and Finance
Their support for women's writing for the stage led most notably to the translation and performance of a play by Hrotsvit, a tenth-century nun said to be the first female dramatist. In 1915 the society shifted its attention from the political to the aesthetic, from 'propaganda' plays and the 'feminist play of ideas' to formally unusual plays performed in translation. Their endeavour to prove that women could organise art theatre in Britain was successful."--BOOK JACKET.
The first of three volumes in a series on women, the arts, and society, this collection of essays examines the full range of political consequences inherent in women's art. Bringing together important new perspectives on music, the visual arts, theatre, film, television, literature, philosophy, and psychology, the contributors to this volume present a cohesive revisionist look at the arts. The first two essays discuss feminist aesthetics, giving several models for new critical readings of the arts. Suffrage art and an important nineteenth-century feminist utopian novel are examined from the genres they revise, as do essays focusing on a long-running television series and a social activist actress. Childhood and womanhood are explicitly compared in one essay. Breastfeeding and housewifery in the visual arts and music in American women's organizations are the subjects of three other essays. Finally, political implications within the fiction of Jane Austen, Fanny Fern, Eudora Welty, and Mary Lee Settie offer divergent historical perspectives and applications of artistry of women.