By Angela V. John
A girl of notable power, expertise and flexibility. Elizabeth Robins was once an actress who popularised Ibsen at the British level, a prolific and renowned author of novels and non-fiction, and an Edwardian suffragette. Her vast circle of pals incorporated Florence Bell, Henry James, John Masefield and William Archer. She labored with the Pankhursts and knew the Woolfs. via studying the lifestyles and paintings of this shiny and transatlantic determine born throughout the American Civil warfare but surviving into the britain of the Fifties, Angela John increases questions on the shaping of old identities. Situating Elizabeth Robins's success within the context of the British and American cultural historical past of the interval, it is a ebook with a purpose to allure historians, lecturers and scholars of theatre stories and all these thinking about biography.
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Extra info for Elizabeth Robins: Staging a Life, 1862-1952
This led to a ‘little engagement’. At first a place in the ballet looked like the only opening. ’, Elizabeth was relieved to be spared this fate. It was probably the first time she had been set alongside women of another class and treated in the same way as them. She was soon acknowledging in her diary the fact that many actresses thought her ill-tempered. She chose to attribute this to being reserved and less tactile and familiar with men than they. She was clearly further distinguished from them by having the Parmeles’ maid accompany her at night.
He was wondering about leaving the stage and re-entering the hotel trade but in late February the Boston Museum manager wrote to release Elizabeth from her contract with the company. To his surprise she confronted him in person. He spoke ‘candidly but without the least cordiality of my marriage’, telling her what he would have done for her had she not married. Elizabeth, who always retained her own stage name, begged Mr Field to ‘think of Mr P. and myself as two & not to allow consideration of me to sway his intentions regarding Mr P’.
He boasted that he had not read over a dozen novels since he was twenty-five but the subjects he revered, science, social science and the outdoor life, had little appeal for her. Yet she admired and emulated his thirst for knowledge though her cultural interests (divested of religious connotations) were more akin to her grandmother’s than her father’s. Most of all, she sought to make her own mark. In her, as in her countrywoman Louisa May Alcott, the presence of an intellectual father who sought refuge from failure in ideas and idealism helped produce a daughter who challenged prescribed gender roles, was wary of marriage, and possessed what Alcott called ‘stage fever’ and a commitment to writing for self (via the diary) and for a living.
Elizabeth Robins: Staging a Life, 1862-1952 by Angela V. John