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Cambridge University Press
Women on the Stage in Early Modern France: 1540-1750

Women on the Stage in Early Modern France: 1540-1750

by Virginia Scott
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Focusing on actresses in France during the early modern period, Virginia Scott examines how the stereotype of the actress has been constructed. The study then moves beyond that stereotype to detail the reality of the personal and artistic lives of women on the French stage, from the almost unknown Marie Ferré - who signed a contract for 12 livres a year in 1545 to perform the 'antiquailles de Rome or other histories, moralities, farces, and acrobatics' in the provinces - to the queens of the eighteenth-century Paris stage, whose 'adventures' have overshadowed their artistic triumphs. The book also investigates the ways in which actresses made invaluable contributions to the development of the French theatre in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and looks at the 'afterlives' of such women as Armande Béjart, Marquise Du Parc, Charlotte Desmares, Adrienne Lecouvreur, and Hippolyte Clairon in biographies, plays, and films.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521896757
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 08/31/2010
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Virginia Scott is Professor Emerita in the Department of Theater, University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She specializes in Commedia dell'arte and French theatre of the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. Her books include The Commedia dell'arte in Paris, which won the George Freedley award, and Molière: A Theatrical Life. Professor Scott is also a dramaturge, playwright, actor, and director.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments viii

Introduction 1

1 The actress and the anecdote 11

2 "So perverse was her wantonness": antitheatricalism and the actress 38

3 In the beginning: "12 livres per year" 59

4 "Those diverting little ways": 1630-1640 101

5 Mademoiselle L'Étoile: 1640-1700 142

6 "Embellished by art": 1680-1720 198

7 Lives and afterlives: 1700-2010 246

Bibliography 289

Index 313

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