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Life of Mrs. Siddons.

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Pages: 48

Language: English

Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

Publisher: General Books LLC (11 Feb. 2012)

By: Thomas Campbell (Author)

This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1834 Excerpt: ... CONTENTS. First introduction of Females on the English Stage--Names and Characters of Mrs. Siddons's greatest Pre-decessors--Mrs. Betterton--Mis. Anne Marshall--Mrs. Boutell--Mrs. Barry--Mrs. Bracegirdle--Mrs. Oldfield--Mrs. Porter--Mrs. Cibber--Mrs. Pritchard--Mrs. Yates--Mrs. Crawford. CHAPTER III. Until the time of Charles the Second, there were no women actors in our Theatres. Female characters were performed by boys, or young men. Even after the Restoration, this custom was not all at once discontinued: and we hear of Kynaston, the last beautiful youth who figured in petticoats on the stage, having been carried about in his theatrical dress by ladies of fashion in their carriages. This was an unseemly spectacle, and we can forgive the Puritans for objecting to see 'men in women's clothing.' But, against this impropriety, the Puritans ought to have appealed to common sense and decency, instead of quoting a text from the Book of Deuteronomy, which forbids H the appearance of men in female attire: for, though it is true that the Jewish law has interdicted the assumption of women's dress by men, yet it should be remembered that the Levitical law is not binding upon Christians. The restorers of our theatres, without troubling themselves about the Puritans, followed the custom of the continent, in bringing women upon the stage, putting a stop to the impersonation of queens and heroines by he creatures, who had sometimes to be shaved before they acted. Yet this admission of women among the players, though a great natural improvement, occurred in times and circumstances that made it appear at first rather an unfavourable change for the moral character of the stage. Since the death of Shakespeare, and during the latter part of James's reign, the Drama had grow...

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