With the exception of the occasional local case study, music-hall history has until now been presented as the history of the London halls. This book attempts to redress the balance by setting music-hall history within a national perspective. Kift argues that before the 1890s the halls catered to a predominantly working-class and lower middle-class audience of both sexes and all ages and that they were instrumental in giving these classes a strong and self-confident identity. The halls' ability to sustain a distinct class-awareness was one of their greatest strengths - but this factor was also at the root of many of the controversies which surrounded them. These controversies are at the centre of the book and Kift treats them as test cases for vertical and horizontal social relations which provide fresh insights into nineteenth-century British society and politics.Read more
- The first full-length study of the Victorian music hall from a national perspective
- A wealth of previously unpublished source material
- Portrays the role of women as both performers and players in a completely new light
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- Date Published: October 1996
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9780521474726
- length: 256 pages
- dimensions: 241 x 162 x 20 mm
- weight: 0.506kg
- contains: 11 b/w illus.
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
Part I. The English Music Hall:
2. The music-hall programme
3. The audience
Part II. Cultures in Conflict:
4. 1840–1865: rivalry in leisure
5. 1860–1877: the 'demon drink'
6. 1875–1888: programmes and purifiers
7. The special case of London, 1840–1888
8. Controversies in the 1890s.
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