Roles of Authority: Thespian Biography and Celebrity in Eighteenth-Century Britain
Celebrity biographies, with their stories of scandal, never fail to titillate. In fact, one would be hard pressed to find record of the best-seller list they didn't punctuate. But delving into professional struggles, private torments, and sexual escapades of performing artists has a long and unexplored history.Eighteenth-century Britain had its own tradition of celebrity biographies and autobiographies. In fact, the genre began in English in 1695, with the story of Matthew Coppinger, a little-known actor who wrote verses, engaged in pretty crime, and ended his life on the gallows. Roles of Authority provides the first comprehensive study of the earliest hundred years of celebrity biography in English, from actor-thief Coppinger to the superstars David Garrick and Sarah Siddons.
Texas Tech University Press
Theatre and Performance Studies
Wanko, Cheryl L., "Roles of Authority: Thespian Biography and Celebrity in Eighteenth-Century Britain" (2003). College of Arts & Sciences Faculty Books. 35.