The Economics of the British Stage, 1800-1914

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British theater became big business in the nineteenth century, and the role of laissez-faire in this cultural industry consistently troubled the government. This is the first full-length study to investigate the theater's growth from an economic perspective, reflecting the debates of theorists from Adam Smith to Alfred Marshall. Tracy Davis' wide-ranging analysis grounds issues such as subsidization and the economic viability of the live arts in an era predating government funding, offering fresh insight into the history of cultural policy for the arts in Britain.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[A]n immensely accomplished work of theatre history." Essays in Theatre

"Copious, precise, and palpable, Davis's scholarly labors—the scene of her writing—become the scrim through which to encounter the economic conditions in which British theatre was produced between the years 1800 and 1914." Theatre Journal

"This book will appeal to historians of the theater and of media studies; its focus on the theater as an industry adds a new dimension. The author brings very useful statistics to illuminate the study of costs. The book will also make fascinating reading for social and cultural historians." EH.NET

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521036856
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 6/21/2007
  • Pages: 528
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.18 (d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrations; List of figures; Acknowledgements; Abbreviations; Note to readers; Introduction; Part I. Competition: Theatre and Laissez-Faire: 1. Monopoly and free trade: fair and unfair competition; 2. Property and the stakes of private interest; 3. Industrial regulation and safety; 4. Marginal economics, national interest and the half-naked woman; Part II. Ownership and Entrepreneurialism: 5. Opportunity, finance and failure; 6. Profit; 7. Business structures; 8. Gender, 'gentlemanly capitalism' and the wo-manager; Part III. Industrialization, Commodity Capitalism and Theatre Production Systems: 9. Labour and labourers; 10. Theatre as cultural capital; Appendix: 'To the public. Charles Kemble's mercies or the '999' increasing'; Notes; Bibliography; Index.

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