Fantasies of Empire : The Empire Theatre of Varieties and the Licensing Controversy of 1894 (Studies Theatre Hist & Culture)
Joseph DonohueISBN: 0877459606;
Book DescriptionIn the London summer of 1894, members of the National Vigilance Society, led by the well-known social reformer Laura Ormiston Chant, confronted the Empire Theatre of Varieties, Leicester Square, and its brilliant manager George Edwardes as he applied for a routine license renewal. On grounds that the Empire's promenade was the nightly resort of prostitutes, that the costumes in the theatre's ballets were grossly indecent, and that the moral health of the nation was imperiled, Chant demanded that the London County Council either deny the theatre its license or require radical changes in the Empire's entertainment and clientele before granting renewal. The resulting license restriction and the tremendous public controversy that ensued raised important issues--social, cultural, intellectual, and moral--still pertinent today. Fantasies of Empire is the first book to recount in full the story of the Empire licensing controversy in all its captivating detail....
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