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Staged readings : contesting class in popular American theater and literature, 1835-75

Title
Staged readings : contesting class in popular American theater and literature, 1835-75 / Michael D'Alessandro.
ISBN
9780472220588
0472220586
9780472133178
Publication
Ann Arbor, Michigan : University of Michigan Press, 2022.
Copyright Notice Date
©2022
Physical Description
1 online resource (xii, 300 pages) : illustrations
Local Notes
Access is available to the Yale community.
Notes
Description based on information from the publisher.
Access and use
Access restricted by licensing agreement.
Summary
Staged Readings studies the social consequences of 19th-century America's two most prevalent leisure forms: theater and popular literature. In the midst of watershed historical developments--including numerous waves of immigration, two financial Panics, increasing wealth disparities, and the Civil War--American theater and literature were developing at unprecedented rates. Playhouses became crowded with new spectators, best-selling novels flew off the shelves, and, all the while, distinct social classes began to emerge. While the middle and upper classes were espousing conservative literary tastes and attending family matinees and operas, laborers were reading dime novels and watching downtown spectacle melodramas like Nymphs of the Red Sea and The Pirate's Signal or, The Bridge of Death!!! As audiences traveled from the reading parlor to the playhouse (and back again), they accumulated a vital sense of social place in the new nation. In other words, culture made class in 19th-century America. Based in the historical archive, Staged Readings presents a panoramic display of mid-century leisure and entertainment. It examines best-selling novels, such as Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin and George Lippard's The Quaker City. But it also analyzes a series of sensational melodramas, parlor theatricals, doomsday speeches, tableaux vivant displays, curiosity museum exhibits, and fake volcano explosions. These oft-overlooked spectacles capitalized on consumers' previous cultural encounters and directed their social identifications. The book will be particularly appealing to those interested in histories of popular theater, literature and reading, social class, and mass culture.
Variant and related titles
UMPEBC 2022.
Format
Books / Online
Language
English
Added to Catalog
January 27, 2023
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages 233-300) and index.
Also listed under
Michigan Publishing (University of Michigan), publisher.
Citation

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