From Traveling Show to Vaudeville: Theatrical Spectacle in America, 1830

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
$33.82
Buy Used
Buy Used from BN.com
$27.75
(Save 25%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $20.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 43%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (8) from $20.99   
  • New (5) from $30.09   
  • Used (3) from $20.99   

Overview

Before phonographs and moving pictures, live performances dominated American popular entertainment. Carnivals, circuses, dioramas, magicians, mechanical marvels, musicians, and theatrical troupes—all visited rural fairgrounds, small-town opera houses, and big-city palaces around the country, giving millions of people an escape from their everyday lives for a dime or a quarter. In From Traveling Show to Vaudeville, Robert M. Lewis has assembled a remarkable collection of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century primary sources that document America's age of theatrical spectacle. In eight parts, Lewis explores, in turn, dime museums, minstrelsy, circuses, melodramas, burlesque shows, Wild West shows, amusement parks, and vaudeville.

Included in this compendium are biographies, programs, ephemera produced by theatrical entrepreneurs to lure audiences to their shows, photographs, scripts, and song lyrics as well as newspaper accounts, reviews, and interviews with such figures as P. T. Barnum and Buffalo Bill Cody. Lewis also gives us reminiscences about and reactions to various shows by members of audiences, including such prominent writers as Mark Twain, William Dean Howells, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Carl Sandburg, Walt Whitman, Louisa May Alcott, Charles Dickens, O. Henry, and Maxim Gorky. Each section also includes a concise introduction that places the genre of spectacle into its historical and cultural context and suggests major interpretive themes. The book closes with a bibliographic essay that identifies relevant scholarly works.

Many of the pieces collected here have not been published since their first appearance, making From Traveling Show to Vaudeville an indispensable resource for historians of popular culture, theater, and nineteenth-century American society.

Johns Hopkins University Press

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Choice
An impressive and judiciously selected collection of relevant documents... This compendium is notable for its broad coverage of forms, informative commentary, and superb bibliographic essay on sources.
Nineteenth Century Theatre and Film
Belongs in the collection of anyone who claims to be serious about the study of American popular entertainments.
Amerikastudien / American Studies
Lewis's book provides not only a wealth of information but also delightful reading. It should be part of every library as a starter point for classes on American nineteenth-century public culture.
Australasian Journal of American Studies
Includes a range of useful and previously inaccessible sources. Both researchers and teachers will find it a valuable reference.
Early Popular Visual Culture - Stephen Bottomore
All-encompassing... it is likely to become a standard work, for media students as well as for American history enthusiasts.
Cercles
An eminently useful book... It is an excellent reader for introducing students to cultural history, bringing it alive through primary sources.
Early Popular Visual Culture - Stephen Bottomore

All-encompassing... it is likely to become a standard work, for media students as well as for American history enthusiasts.

Choice

An impressive and judiciously selected collection of relevant documents... This compendium is notable for its broad coverage of forms, informative commentary, and superb bibliographic essay on sources.

Amerikastudien / American Studies

Lewis's book provides not only a wealth of information but also delightful reading. It should be part of every library as a starter point for classes on American nineteenth-century public culture.

Nineteenth Century Theatre and Film

Belongs in the collection of anyone who claims to be serious about the study of American popular entertainments.

Australasian Journal of American Studies

Includes a range of useful and previously inaccessible sources. Both researchers and teachers will find it a valuable reference.

Choice

An impressive and judiciously selected collection of relevant documents... This compendium is notable for its broad coverage of forms, informative commentary, and superb bibliographic essay on sources.

Cercles

An eminently useful book... It is an excellent reader for introducing students to cultural history, bringing it alive through primary sources.

Early Popular Visual Culture
All-encompassing... it is likely to become a standard work, for media students as well as for American history enthusiasts.

— Stephen Bottomore

Choice

An impressive and judiciously selected collection of relevant documents... This compendium is notable for its broad coverage of forms, informative commentary, and superb bibliographic essay on sources.

Early Popular Visual Culture
All-encompassing... it is likely to become a standard work, for media students as well as for American history enthusiasts.

— Stephen Bottomore

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801887482
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 8/31/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert M. Lewis is a lecturer in American history at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom.

Johns Hopkins University Press

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Contents:

Introduction: From Celebration to Show BusinessTHE DIME MUSEUM

Early Museum Shows

Selling and Seeing Curiosities

Commentary

Dog Days of the Museum

MINSTRELSY

Routines: Songs, Speeches, Dialogue, and Farce

Commentary: Rise and Fall of "Slave" Creativity

Reminiscences

Musical Comedy: Harrigan's Mulligan Guard

Confessions of an African American Minstrel

THE CIRCUS

The Circus Debated

The Early Circus

Big Business

The Audience

MELODRAMA

A Plea for an American Drama

Classic Melodrama

Classic Melodrama's Audiences

The Ten-Twenty-Thirty Melodramas"LEG SHOW"

BURLESQUE EXTRAVAGANZAS

The Black Crook

A Burlesque of Burlesque

Reactions to the Controversy

The Popular-Price CircuitTHE WILD WEST SHOW

Origins

Extracts from Buffalo Bill's Wild West Programs

Exhibiting Indians

SUMMER AMUSEMENT PARKS

Journalists and the "New" Coney

Showmen and the "Amusement Business"

Popular Responses

Two Critics of Coney's BanalityVAUDEVILLE

Vaudeville Defined

The Business

Routines

Johns Hopkins University Press

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)