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The Empire Actors: 'Stars of Australasian Costume Drama 1890S-1920S'
In the decades from Federation to the 1920s live entertainment was an integral part of the Imperial world, and performers the first generation of truly global marketeers. In epic tales of royal splendour and Napoleonic conquest, of heroic gladiators and Christian sacrifice, of musketeers and courtesans, hussars and doomed princesses, Arab houris and Oriental mandarins, international stage celebrities transported Australasian audiences into identification with the older, more powerful civilizations from which they had come. These stars travelled the world in style, carrying messages of trade, fashion, tourism, modernity and the privilege of being a member of the British Empire.
Veronica Kelly's path-breaking Empire Actors provides a long-awaited study of the dynamics of late nineteenth-century commercial theatre, an entertainment that quite literally spanned the globe. In its combination of aesthetic, cultural and economic perspectives Kelly's book marks a major move towards global theatre history.
Professor Christopher Balme, Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich.
Veronica Kelly has accomplished a splendid act of reclamation, a major contribution not only to the history of taste, but also to the exploration of Australasian society at a time when its identity as a proud constituent of empire was beginning to solidify.
Prof. Laurence Senelick, Tufts University, Medford, Mass.
Professor Veronica Kelly has been a guiding light in research in Australian theatre history. She has taught theatre studies at the University of Queensland for over thirty years and is a respected mentor to students around Australia. For some years she was theatre critic of the Australian, she has also written widely for international journals and was a founding editor of Australasian Drama Studies.
Cased only, 224 pages.
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