Daughters of Eve: A Cultural History of French Theater Women from the Old Regime to the Fin de Siècle

Daughters of Eve: A Cultural History of French Theater Women from the Old Regime to the Fin de Siècle

by Lenard R. Berlanstein, Richard W. Wrangham
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0674005961

ISBN-13: 9780674005969

Pub. Date: 12/28/2001

Publisher: Harvard

Famous and seductive, female stage performers haunted French public life in the century before and after the Revolution. This pathbreaking study delineates the distinctive place of actresses, dancers, and singers within the French erotic and political imaginations. From the moment they became an unofficial caste of mistresses to France's elite during the reign of

Overview

Famous and seductive, female stage performers haunted French public life in the century before and after the Revolution. This pathbreaking study delineates the distinctive place of actresses, dancers, and singers within the French erotic and political imaginations. From the moment they became an unofficial caste of mistresses to France's elite during the reign of Louis XIV, their image fluctuated between emasculating men and delighting them.

Drawing upon newspaper accounts, society columns, theater criticism, government reports, autobiographies, public rituals, and a huge corpus of fiction, Lenard Berlanstein argues that the public image of actresses was shaped by the political climate and ruling ideology; thus they were deified in one era and damned in the next. Tolerated when civil society functioned and demonized when it faltered, they finally passed from notoriety to celebrity with the stabilization of parliamentary life after 1880. Only then could female fans admire them openly, and could the state officially recognize their contributions to national life.

Daughters of Eve is a provocative look at how a culture creates social perceptions and reshuffles collective identities in response to political change.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674005969
Publisher:
Harvard
Publication date:
12/28/2001
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
5.62(w) x 8.78(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction

1 Setting the Scene

2 Theater Women and Aristocratic Libertinism, 1715-1789

3 Defining the Modern Gender Order, 1760-1815

4 Magdalenes of Postaristocratic France, 1815-1848

5 The Erotic Culture of the Stage

6 The Struggle against Pornocracy, 1848-1880

7 Imagining Republican Actresses, 1880-1914

8 Performing a Self

9 From Notorious Women to Intimate Strangers

Conclusion

Notes

Index

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