We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham e-Theses
You are in:

Courting Celebrity: Creating the Courtesan on the Popular Parisian Stage and Beyond, 1831–1859

WROTH, EMMANUELA,MARIA (2022) Courting Celebrity: Creating the Courtesan on the Popular Parisian Stage and Beyond, 1831–1859. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

Full text not available from this repository.
Author-imposed embargo until 24 November 2023.


Courting Celebrity excavates the careers of celebrity women actors on the Parisian popular stage c.1831–1859. Historically, these performers have been neglected by scholarship, which has largely focused on stars from the capital’s few privileged stages, or explored later nineteenth-century popular artists, instead of the boulevard performers from the post-restoration decades 1830–1860 when the popular stage became established. I argue that these boulevard performers created fantasies that enabled a new kind of women’s celebrity and challenged the binary between the primary and secondary stages. Specifically, their example nuances celebrity theory which considers the most esteemed women actors to evade historical associations with courtesans. While this is true for performers on Paris’s primary stages, women actors at the secondary theatres established an alternative model that reappropriated the association with courtesans, which was more prominent on the popular stage.
This thesis draws on contemporary and modern theory, bringing them into conversation with archival sources, and is formed of five chapters. The first contrasts how the rivals Mlle Mars (1779–1847) and Marie Dorval (1798–1849) created historically remote courtesan characters in the battle between Classicism and Romanticism in the 1830s. The second and third chapters explore how subsequent rivals, Adèle Page (1822–1882) and Eugénie Doche (1821–1900), premiered real, contemporary courtesan characters at the dawn of the Second Empire. Chapter 4 studies how Anaïs Fargueil (1819–1896) positioned herself against Doche, through her creation of the heartless, anti-heroine fille de marbre type; chapter 5 studies how Rose Chéri (1824–1861), contrasted her courtesan characters with her Christian celebrity image. I conclude by establishing how these actors mobilised their courtesan creations to gain celebrity and rehabilitate the figure of the boulevard star. I argue for the significant influence of Parisian popular theatre women on French cultural history and Western celebrity more broadly.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Music, Department of
Thesis Date:2022
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:25 Nov 2022 11:27

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitter