Actresses and Whores: On Stage and in Society

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Cambridge University Press, Feb 17, 2005 - Drama - 215 pages
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For centuries, the categories of 'whore' and 'actress' have overlapped. Actresses are assumed to be sexually available and promiscuous, and prostitutes are assumed to perform for their clients. Using biographies of historical actresses and p rostitutes and interviews with contemporary sex workers, this book explores the various connections between actresses and prostitutes from Nell Gwynne to Mae West. In this highly original study, ranging from the seventeenth century to the present, Kirsten Pullen offers many new insights to theatre historians and scholars of cultural, social and gender studies.
 

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Contents

Prostitution performance and Mae West speaking from the whore position
1
Betty Boutell Whom all the Town Fucks constructing the actresswhore
22
Memoir and masquerade Charlotte Charke Margaret Leeson and eighteenthcentury performances of self
55
Burlesque breeches and Blondes illegitimate nineteenthcentury cultural and theatrical performance
93
We Need Status as Actresses contemporary prostitution and performance
134
Afterpiece millennial prostitution
167
Notes
175
Bibliography
195
Index
213
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About the author (2005)

Kirsten Pullen is Assistant Professor of Performance and New Media Studies at the University of Calgary.