New Book | Carrying All before Her

Posted in books by Editor on June 30, 2022

From the University of Delaware Press:

Chelsea Phillips, Carrying All before Her: Celebrity Pregnancy and the London Stage, 1689–1800 (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2022), 304 pages, ISBN: 978-1644532492, $120 / ISBN: 978-1644532485, $35.

The rise of celebrity stage actresses in the long eighteenth century created a class of women who worked in the public sphere while facing considerable scrutiny about their offstage lives. Such powerful celebrity women used the cultural and affective significance of their reproductive bodies to leverage audience support and interest to advance their careers, and eighteenth-century London patent theatres even capitalized on their pregnancies. Carrying All Before Her uses the reproductive histories of six celebrity women—Susanna Mountfort Verbruggen, Anne Oldfield, Susannah Cibber, George Anne Bellamy, Sarah Siddons, and Dorothy Jordan—to demonstrate that pregnancy affected celebrity identity, impacted audience reception and interpretation of performance, changed company repertory and altered company hierarchy, influenced the development and performance of new plays, and had substantial economic consequences for both women and the companies for which they worked. Deepening the fields of celebrity, theatre, and women’s studies, as well as social and medical histories, Phillips reveals an untapped history whose relevance and impact persists today.

Chelsea Phillips is an associate professor of theatre at Villanova University in Pennsylvania.



1  Inheriting Greatness: Susanna Mountfort Verbruggen and Anne Oldfield
2  Pregnant Sensibility: Susannah Cibber and George Anne Bellamy
3  Conceiving Genius: Sarah Siddons
4  Prolific Muse: Dorothy Jordan
Conclusion: Celebrity Pregnancy, Then and Now

Appendix: Birth and Christening Dates

New Book | Celebrity across the Channel, 1750–1850

Posted in books by Editor on June 30, 2022

From the University of Delaware Press:

Anaïs Pédron and Clare Siviter, eds., Celebrity across the Channel, 1750–1850 (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2021), 336 pages, ISBN: 978-1644532126, $120 / ISBN: 978-1644532133, $35.

Celebrity across the Channel, 1750–1850 is the first book to study and compare the concept of celebrity in France and Britain from 1750 to 1850 as the two countries transformed into the states we recognize today. It offers a transnational perspective by placing in dialogue the growing fields of celebrity studies in the two countries, especially by engaging with Antoine Lilti’s seminal work, The Invention of Celebrity, translated into English in 2017.

With contributions from a diverse range of scholarly cultures, the volume has a firmly interdisciplinary scope over the time period 1750 to 1850, which was an era marked by social, political, and cultural upheaval. Bringing together the fields of history, politics, literature, theater studies, and musicology, the volume employs a firmly interdisciplinary scope to explore an era marked by social, political, and cultural upheaval. The organization of the collection allows for new readings of the similarities and differences in the understanding of celebrity in Britain and France. Consequently, the volume builds upon the questions that are currently at the heart of celebrity studies.

Anaïs Pédron is an independent scholar based in London, England. She has recently published the article “‘Nous aussi nous sommes citoyennes’: Female Activism during the French Revolution” in Women in French Studies (special issue 2019) and the chapter “Olympe de Gouges, anti-esclavagiste et anticolonialiste?” in Les Lumières, l’esclavage et l’idéologie coloniale: XVIIIe–XIXe siècle (2020), edited by Pascale Pellerin.

Clare Siviter is a theater historian of the longer French Revolutionary period and is lecturer in French Theatre at the University of Bristol. She is the author of Tragedy and Nation in the Age of Napoleon.


List of Illustrations

Antoine Lilti, Preface
Anaïs Pédron and Clare Siviter, Introduction

Section I: Theorizing Celebrity
1  Chris Haffenden, ‘Immortality in This World’: Reconfiguring Celebrity and Monument in the Romantic Period
2  Blake Smith, The Scholar as Celebrity: Anquetil-Duperron’s Discours Préliminaire
3  Meagan Mason, The Physiognomies of Virtuosi in Paris, 1830–1848

Section II: Representing Celebrity
4  Anna Senkiw, ‘To Perdition’: Politicians, Players, and the Press
5  Anaïs Pédron, Clairon’s Strategies to Achieve Celebrity and Glory
6  Miranda Kiek, Celebrity—Thou Art Translated! Corinne in England
7  Clare Siviter, Celebrity across Borders: The Chevalier d’Eon

Section III: Inheriting Celebrity
8  Emrys D. Jones: ‘Knowing My Family’: Dynastic Recognition in Eighteenth-Century Celebrity Culture
9  Gabriel Wick, Princes of the Public Sphere: Visibility, Performance, and Princely Political Activism, 1771–1774
10  Ariane Viktoria Fichtl, Ancient Parallels to Eighteenth-Century Concepts of Celebrity
11  Laure Philip, The Celebrity, Reputation, and Glory of the Empire and Restoration France through the Lens of Adèle de Boigne’s Memoirs

About the Contributors

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