Women, Sociability and Theatre in Georgian London
Mid-eighteenth-century London witnessed a major expansion in public culture as a result of a rapidly commercialising society. Of the many sites of entertainment, the most celebrated (and often notorious) were the Carlisle House club, the Pantheon, and the Ladies Club or Coterie. In this major study of these institutions and the fashionable sociability they epitomised, Gillian Russell examines how they transformed metropolitan cultural life. Associated with lavish masquerades, excesses of fashion, such as elaborate hairstyles, and scandalous intrigues, these venues suggested a feminisation of public life which was profoundly threatening, not least to the theatre of the period. In this highly illustrated and original contribution to the cultural history of the eighteenth century, Russell reveals fresh perspectives on the theatre and on canonical plays such as The School for Scandal, as well as suggesting a prehistory for British Romanticism.
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Abington actress adultery asserting association audience Belle’s Stratagem Bon Ton Carlisle House character Chudleigh claimed Colman’s comedy commercial context controversy Cornelys Cornelys’s Coterie court Cowley Cowley’s critique discursive domiciliary sociability Donnellan drama dress Drury Lane Duchess of Kingston Duchess of Northumberland Duke eighteenth-century elite women Elizabeth entertainment epilogue event fashionable sociability female femininity feminized figure Foote Foote’s Frances Abington Garrick gender high heads homosociality identity Jubilee King’s Lady Bab Lady Teazle Lady’s Letitia London Lord macaroni Maid mainpiece male homosociality marriage Mary Delany masculine ment metropolitan Minikin newspaper Oaks Pantheon patent theatres peeresses performance play political print media Proprietors Public Advertiser public culture public sphere reported represented republic of letters role satirical scene School for Scandal sexual Shakespeare Sheridan’s significant society Soho space St James’s stage suggests tavern theatre theatre’s theatricality tickets Town trial venues Walpole Walpole’s Westminster Hall Wilkes Wilkite woman of fashion