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The categories of "whore" and "actress" have overlapped over centuries. Actresses are assumed to be sexually available and promiscuous, and prostitutes are assumed to perform for their clients. Employing historical biographies as well as interviews with contemporary sex workers, this book compares actresses and prostitutes from Nell Gwynne to Mae West. Ranging from the seventeenth century to the present, Kirsten Pullen offers many new insights to theater historians and scholars of cultural, social and gender studies.Read more
- An interdisciplinary study, using archive research and cultural analysis to investigate performance history and attitudes to actresses from the seventeenth century to the present day
- Uncovers the cultural impact of actresses from Nell Gwynne to Mae West and includes unique interviews with working prostitutes on their uses of performance and acting
- This wide-ranging work will interest literary scholars, performance and drama scholars as well as social historians and those interested in gender and cultural studies
Reviews & endorsements
"In her riveting study of the interplay between the two professions, Kirsten Pullen places actresses and whores firmly on the ever-present stage of society - and reminds us that it is not only prostitutes we remain ambivalent about, but theatre and film workers, too." Fiona Shaw, New StatesmanSee more reviews
Coherent and provocative. Highly recommended.
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- Date Published: March 2005
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521541022
- length: 228 pages
- dimensions: 228 x 155 x 14 mm
- weight: 0.37kg
- contains: 6 b/w illus.
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
List of illustrations
1. Prostitution, performance, and Mae West: speaking from the whore position
2. Betty Boutell, 'Whom All the Town Fucks': constructing the actress/whore
3. Memoir and masquerade: Charlotte Charke, Margaret Leeson, and eighteenth-century performances of self
4. Burlesque, breeches, and blondes: illegitimate nineteenth-century cultural and theatrical performance
5. 'We need status as actresses!': contemporary prostitution and performance
6. Afterpiece: millennial prostitution
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