University Press Copublishing Division / Bucknell University Press
Trim: 6 x 9
978-1-61148-603-2 • Hardback • November 2014 • $120.00 • (£92.00)
978-1-61148-605-6 • Paperback • August 2016 • $54.99 • (£42.00)
978-1-61148-604-9 • eBook • November 2014 • $52.00 • (£40.00)
Laura Engel is associate professor in the English Department at Duquesne University.
Elaine M. McGirr is senior lecturer in English and drama at Royal Holloway, University of London.
Elaine M. McGirr and Laura Engel
Part One: Actresses, Motherhood, and the Profession of the Stage
Chapter 1. “The Divided Heart of the Actress”: Late Eighteenth-Century Actresses and the “Cult of Maternity”
Helen E.M. Brooks
Chapter 2. The Inconvenience of the Female Condition: Anne Oldfield’s Pregnancies
Chapter 3. “Inimitable Sensibility”: Susannah Cibber’s Performance of Maternity
Elaine M. McGirr
Chapter 4. Working Mothers on the Romantic Stage: Sarah Siddons and Mary Robinson
Ellen Malenas Ledoux
Part Two. Representations of Mothers on the Stage and the Page
Chapter 5. Rebels for Love: Maternity, Absolutism, and the Earl of Orrery’s Mustapha
Laura R. Rosenthal
Chapter 6. Rowe’s The Ambitious Stepmother: Motherhood and the Politics of the Blended Family
Chapter 7. Staged Virtue: Anastasia Robinson as Ideal Mother in Two Operas of the 1720
Chapter 8. Maternal Duties and Filial Malapropisms: Frances Sheridan and the Problems of Theatrical Inheritance
Chapter 9. My Son, My Lover: Gothic Contagion and Maternal Sexuality in the Mysterious Mother
Part Three. Actresses and their Children
Chapter 10. Elizabeth and Keppel Craven and the Domestic Drama of Mother-Son
Chapter 11. Mommy Diva: The Divided Loyalities of Sarah Siddons
Chapter 12. The Gerbini Letters: or, A Tale of Two Mothers
About the Contributors
This collection offers readers a fascinating study of English actresses during the long eighteenth century and the motherly roles they played on and off stage. . . . While some readers may be familiar with the actresses or the plays featured in this collection, they will surely learn a great deal about these eighteenth-century celebrities and the subject of motherhood as it was understood between 1660 and 1830. This book should be useful to readers interested in eighteenth-century studies, theater studies, performance history, women’s studies, drama as literature, and even art history, for portraiture and drawings are included and analyzed in a number of essays. In addition, this volume is important for its subtle-but-present reminder that a study of theatrical performers is also a study of class due to the vital connection between theater and social standing. All in all, Stage Mothers has a wonderful way of giving actress-mothers credit for their attempts to balance domestic and theatrical life, the (re)negotiation of their place in private and public spheres, and their painstaking fashioning of their selves and careers.
— Early Modern Women
The essays here have implications not only for the history of the sex/gender system, but also for contemporary debates regarding women's experience in the workplace. . . .There are outstanding essays here.
— SEL: Studies in English Literature 1500-1900
Stage Mothers presents fascinating new research on the dramatic representation of maternity and (more unusually) the private and public experiences and cultural significance of mothers who acted through the long eighteenth century.
— Bridget E. Orr, Vanderbilt University