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The Stage Career of Cicely Hamilton (1895–1914)


Seán Moran

Drawing on recently released or previously neglected archive material, this book is the first dedicated to the stage career of Cicely Hamilton (1872–1952). Best known for her work with the women’s suffrage movement, Hamilton was at the same time deeply committed to the commercial stage as an actress, dramatist and activist. The book draws extensively on Hamilton’s own recollections as well as those of her close associates, supplemented by contemporary press reviews and articles, and concludes with a chronology of the productions in which she performed as a touring actress based on confirmed dates and venues.

This book «(…) is a fascinating and fantastic resource for current and future scholars of Hamilton’s work, as well as those interested in the wider framework of (…) the theatre industry of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.»

Dr. Naomi Paxton (School of Advanced Study, University of London)

«With its documentation and assessment of Hamilton's touring career, (…) this well written and meticulously researched study provides an original contribution to theatre, dramatic, and reception history.»

Prof. Dr. Rudolf Weiss (University of Vienna)

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List of Illustrations


Plate 1: 28, Glebe Place undergoing renovation in 2016. Hamilton lived here with her sister Evelyn from approx. 1900-1921

Plate 2: The house at 44, Glebe Place, where Hamilton lived for thirty years between 1921 and her death in 1952

Plate 3: Hamilton as Jeanne and Fewlass Llewellyn as Joseph in a production of The Sergeant of Hussars. The Sketch, 1 July 1908. Foulsham and Banfield

Plate 4: Hamilton as Mrs Knox in G.B. Shaw’s Fanny’s First Play, Play Pictorial, vol.XIX, no.114, 1911. Photograph: Lena Connill

Plate 5: Scenes from Act One, Act Three and Act Four of Diana of Dobson’s, Black and White magazine, 29 February 1908. Dover Street Studios

Plate 6: Diana of Dobson’s, Act Two. Dover Street Studios

Plate 7: Waxworks at the census boycott, Edinburgh 1911. Although the photograph does not actually show ‘Miss Cicely Hamilton’s Waxworks’, the event was intented to parody the same tropes in a very similar manner

Plate 8: “Mr. H. A. Chapman, High Street, secured a flashlight photograph of the performers on the stage” (Cambrian, 13 May 1910). A Pageant of Great Women, Albert Hall, Swansea. Hamilton is the figure in the centre and the figure of Prejudice can be seen exiting stage left

Plate 9: One of the stories in the ‘Sexton Blake’ series written by Hamilton between 1906 and 1907

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