The introduction situates the professional touring of Victorian actresses within the context of theatre history and scholarship. It provides an overview of the era, explains the cultural and gendered expectations of women in a period dominated by ‘separate spheres’ ideology, and outlines key features of the nineteenth-century theatrical industry. Following a rationale for the focus on the careers and lives of neglected ‘mid-tier’ actresses, brief individual biographies of featured performers are given with discussion of the source material researched for the book. Explanation of the organisation of the volume, which follows the stages of an actress’s lifecycle, concludes with a summary of the contents of each chapter.
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