The Theatre Industry in Nineteenth-Century France

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This is the first book to explore the history of French theater in the nineteenth century through its special role as an organized popular entertainment. Traditionally regarded as an elite art form, in post-Revolutionary France the stage began to be seen as an industry like any other and the theater became one of the few areas of employment where women were in demand as much as men. In this lively account, Hemmings examines how the theater world flourished and evolved, and reveals such matters as the difficult life of the actress, salaries and contracts, and the profession of the playwright.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The discussion, which in other hands might have proven less engaging, is constsntly enhanced by a masterly use of anedotes which clarify as well as entertain. ...gracefully written... ...Professor Hemmings has addressed a central aspcet of the history of French theatre, and has done so extraordinarily well." Dalhousie French Studies 34

"The Theatre Industry in Nineteenth-Century France deserves to be read." Times Literary Supplement

"...this fascinating book is destined to become an essential component in the history of European theatre." Times Higher Education Supplement

"A fascinating study, meticulously documented, and brilliantly written, Hemmings's latest work introduces a new view of theatre: not as an art form, but as an industry....The Theatre Industry is a joyous read, not only for the knowledge it imparts, but because it takes one on a wonderful journey into a by-gone era—to the heart of nineteenth-century Paris, with all of its excitement and beauty, its incredible creativity, as well as its inequities." Bettina L. Knapp, Nineteenth-Century French Studies

"Hemmings's use of so many contemporary accounts is one of the main reasons for the book's sense of immediacy and vitaltiy, so integral to a survey which tries to give so much factual information without boring its readers...The amount of documentary evidence collectred and translated by Hemmings is vast and well-presented..." Judith W. Fisher, Essays in Theatre

"The author's lively writing style and his sense of detail provide a useful and informative treatment of a too frequently overlooked dimension of theatre history...Hemmings has written a highly readable and valuable addition both to our understanding of French theatre operation in the nineteenth century theatre and how it changed in response to a new industrial world." Vince Landro, Theatre Studies

"A detailed, carefully researched, and thouroughly documented study..." Y. Safer, Choice

"...this highly readable account brings together in one convenient volume a clear and concise history that will surely prove useful to students and scholars alike." Barbara T. Cooper, Nineteenth-century French Studies

" invaluable resource for those who wish to do further work in the unpublished archives of...the various national and commercial theaters. Scholars taking a more literary approach to the theater will also find much of interest in these pages." Jeffrey S. Ravel, Theatre Survey

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521441421
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 8/12/1993
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Table of Contents

Chronology; Introduction; Part I. The Audiences: 1. Going to the theatre in the nineteenth century; 2. The auditorium; 3. Performance times - intervals - annual closures; 4. First nights and previews; 5. Order and disorder in the theatres; 6. Applause and censure; 7. The claque; 8. Working-class audiences; Part II. The Acting Profession: 9. A pariah profession; 10. Social origins; 11. Training for the stage; 12. Salaries and contracts; 13. The difficult life of the actress; 14. Acting standards; Part III. The Profession of Playwright: 15. The profession is organised; 16. The closed shop; 17. From acceptance to performance; Notes; Bibliography; Guide to further reading; Index.

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