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Victorian touring actressesCrossing boundaries and negotiating the cultural landscape$
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Janice Norwood

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781526133328

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7765/9781526133335

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Offstage: family and personal life

Offstage: family and personal life

(p.196) 7 Offstage: family and personal life
Victorian touring actresses

Janice Norwood

Manchester University Press

This chapter considers the professional and personal consequences of the choices made by the actress in her private life, examining how aspects of her offstage conduct, sexual liaisons and marital situation impacted upon her public image, creative practice, working partnerships and family. Particular focus is given to mutual support networks provided by theatrical families in which several generations worked in the industry. The advantages and drawbacks of marriage to men working within or outside the profession are illustrated by studying the dynamics of different relationships. These are contrasted with examples of actresses who provoked scandal through divorce. The practicalities of coping with pregnancy, childcare responsibilities and family life as a touring actress are explored in relation to mid-Victorian notions about the role of women.

Keywords:   actress, family, pregnancy, marriage, divorce, childcare, scandal, offstage

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