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The Lady Actress Paperback – March 9, 2009
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About the Author
Dr. Kelly S. Taylor, a North Carolina native, received her BFA in Acting from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (1984), her MFA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1990), and her Ph.D. from Louisiana State University (1994). Her primary research interest is in the history of Performance Studies. She is a professor at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas.
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Top customer reviews
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While the main text is fairly well written, and consistently interesting, some of the transitions between Mrs. Taylor's text and excerpts of Mrs. Mowatt-Ritchie's text are not as smooth as could be desired, yet those transitions were not jarring enough to dissuade an interested reader from continuing. This is one book I had a very hard time putting down. It has made me want to locate copies of Mrs. Mowatt-Ritchie's works to read for myself.
The book is annotated and each notation is numbered in sequence per chapter. In other words, at the beginning of each chapter, notes are numbered from one (1) and continue in sequence until that chapter ends. Notes in the next chapter begin again at the number 1. That's a fine, understandable scheme, but is not strictly follwed in the notes section that appears at the end of the book. Notes for chapter two are numbered within that chapter from the number one, as described above, but, at the back of the book, the numbers of chapter two's notes continue in sequence from the end of chapter 1... so they are numbered from 33 thru 64; which creates a minor bit of confusion when/if one consults the notes during or after reading the main book.
After the notes, there is a 9 page Selected Bibliograpy and three appendices containing a timeline of significant events during the life of the actress and a list of her famous contemporaries, such as Edgar Allan Poe, P.T. Barnum, Louisa May Alcott, and others. These are the type of extra material I always love finding in a non-fiction book. I found the depth of the research interesting and hope to be able to read some of the books referenced in the aforementioned bibliograpy to learn more about the amazing subject of this biography.
This book was received free from the publisher in exchange for this review, and no financial compensation was received by this reviewer. The review is simultaneously being published on Dragon Views, LibraryThing, Amazon.com and anywhere else this reviewer deems appropriate.
The author divides the book into eight sections. First a brief overview, then a short biography of the subject, this is followed by an examination of her autobiography, fiction, drama, performance and poetry. She closes with an examination of what she feels is the legacy of her subject.
In each section she is careful to examine the world in which Ms. Mowatt lived and worked. This was a world that was predominately against females, of the better sort, doing any of the things that this woman did. And yet she was able to became famous not infamous. The social tightrope she walked is very well explored.
This book is very informative not only as a source of information in woman's studies but as a general history of arts and letters in the US. If the book has a flaw it is in the somewhat choppy narrative flow. It is not an easy read but it is one that will reward the reader with a wealth of information.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author through the LibraryThing Member Giveaway program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 [...] : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."