By Alma J. Bennett
Whereas the heritage of yankee theatre has been greatly documented, the historical past of its woman reviewers has been usually neglected. This booklet seeks to right that oversight by way of exploring the function of the good girl American critics, thereby increasing their canonical prestige. The anthology presents a quick description of the women's lives, their operating stipulations, samples in their writing, and assisting analyses. For a few readers, it will be a primary come upon with ladies who need to be represented within the American theatre in their instances and famous for his or her contributions to the advance of dramatic thought and feedback.
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Extra resources for American Women Theatre Critics: Biographies and Selected Writings of Twelve Reviewers, 1753-1919
Relaxation of morals — And I ask, Doth not a virtuous theatre exemplify the lessons which the ethic preacher labours to inculcate? I take it for granted, that none but a virtuous and well regulated theatre will be tolerated. In the southern and middle States, Philadelphia particularly, no performance can make its appearance upon the Stage, without passing under the previous examination of the governor and two other respectable magistrates, who, by their avowed approbation, become responsible to the public for the merit of the piece.
On the death of her husband, John Stevens, in 1787, her ﬁnancial problems reinforced her views that women needed to be prepared to take care of themselves, whether single or widowed. She believed education was the way to do this. In 1788, Judith Stevens married the Universalist minister John Murray. Although this marriage also contained ﬁnancial worries, it seemed a happier union and led to the birth of two children, a son, George, stillborn in August 1789, and a daughter, Julia Maria, born in August 1791.
Very tall, handsome, and a superior tragedian”(91). But what makes an actor a superior tragedian she does not say. In the winter of 1860, Field was no longer writing for the Courier. ” These letters, plus her reviews of novels and poetry read while in Europe, contain the seeds of Field’s later, more mature criticism. ”8 Like other women critics of this period, Field seems to believe in a higher social purpose for theatre than mere entertainment. 9 The bulk of Field’s criticism, papers and monographs on Ristori, various Hamlets, Charles Fechter, and dialogues on the stage were published in the Atlantic Monthly between September 1861 and December 1870.
American Women Theatre Critics: Biographies and Selected Writings of Twelve Reviewers, 1753-1919 by Alma J. Bennett