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Charlotte

Being a True Account of an Actress's Flamboyant Adventures in Eighteenth-Century London's Wild and Wicked Theatrical World

Kathryn Shevelow

Picador

Charlotte Charke's father, Colley Cibber, was one of the eighteenth-century's great actor/playwrights--and it was thought that the comedically gifted young Charlotte would follow in his footsteps at the legendary Drury Lane. However, Charlotte's habit of wearing men's clothes off stage as well as on, proved an obstacle to her career.

Kathryn Shevelow re-creates Charlotte's downfall from the heights of London's theatrical world to its lascivious lows (the domain of fire-eaters, puppeteers, wastrels, gender-bending cross-dressers, wenches, and scandalous sorts of every variety) and her comeback as the author of one of the first autobiographies ever written by a woman. Beyond the appealingly unorthodox Charlotte, Shevelow masterfully recalls for us a historical era of extraordinary stylishness, artifice, character, interest, and intrigue.

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Charlotte
PART ONE 
 
1CIBBERS(1660--1712) 
 
 
 
 
Of all the spectacles in London, one of the most popular was Bethlem Royal Hospital, the madhouse. "Bedlam" drew crowds of the curious, eager to pay admission to stare with horror at the inmates, howling in frenzy or slumped in silent dejection. In 1676, Bethlem Hospital had relocated to Moorfields, just outside the City's northern wall. The stately design of its new building and gardens, said to resemble the Tuileries, contrasted starkly with the brutal treatment of the miserable "lunaticks"
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REVIEWS

Praise for Charlotte

"Refreshingly frank."--The New York Times Book Review

"Shevelow engagingly details Charlotte's adventures."--The New Yorker

"This splendiferous recreation of the past is rich in period detail, and theater buffs will applaud."--Publishers Weekly

"Shevelow's detailed, touching portrait revealed Charlotte to me as a rebel sister."--The Advocate

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Kathryn Shevelow

  • Kathryn Shevelow is an award-winning professor at the University of California in San Diego, teaching regular classes in Restoration and eighteenth-century drama. She has published widely on eighteenth-century topics and lives in Solana Beach, California.
  • Kathryn Shevelow Edward Lee
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Available Formats and Book Details

Charlotte

Being a True Account of an Actress's Flamboyant Adventures in Eighteenth-Century London's Wild and Wicked Theatrical World

Kathryn Shevelow

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Picador

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