The story of a successful actress and writer of novels and non-fiction who became an Edwardian suffragette
- Paperback | 312 pages
- 124 x 198 x 10mm | 400g
- 15 Mar 2007
- The History Press Ltd
- Stroud, United Kingdom
- UK ed.
Back cover copy
Elizabeth Robins was born in America, but spent much of her time in England, returning to the United States for long visits. She started her career as an actress, her search for serious parts for women resulting in her being the first to play Hedda Gabler in Britain. She became a key figure in theatre management of the fin de siecle. She was also a writer of substance whose publications included polemical works, short stories and novels. One of her plays, Votes for Women! instigated suffrage drama. As a suffragette Robins worked alongside the Pankhursts in the Women's Social and Political Union. She remained an active and lifelong feminist, especially concerned with women's health issues. This new biography examines historical identities, asking how and why Elizabeth Robins chose to present herself in the ways she did at different times throughout her life. It also considers how others interpreted her, and in the process it re-evaluates the purpose of historical biography. Drawing extensively on Robins's diary, letters, drafts of novels, reviews and many other sources from her and her contemporaries' papers in the United States, Britain and elsewhere, Angela John's portrait demonstrates the multi-faceted nature of Elizabeth Robins's life. This stimulating biography also provides a fascinating study of the political and cultural periods in which Elizabeth Robins moved.
"Robin's life and John's account of it offers riches to historians of many interests."-"Albion "This is a well-written, comprehensive life of Elizabeth Robins, the American-born actress and novelist....For social history that links the United States and Britain, the stage and dominant literary circles, early to mid-twentieth-century politics, and the British suffrage movement, this book is required reading."-"American Historical Review "An absorbing and fascinating tale. I couldn't stop reading this compelling biography...Angela John has invented a new form--biography as social history. The reader is riveted."-Jane Marcus, City College of New York "A stage actress in America and London, Robins retired from the theater at age 40 and dedicated her life to writing and the woman suffrage movement. Johns, an academic, resurrects Robin's rich life and work, which included 14 novels as well as books on feminism."-"Library Journal "A sympathetic portrait based on meticulous scholarship...this biography will be a rich resource for historians of women, of the theatre, of turn of the century European and American society and culture."-Judith P. Zinsser, Miami University
About Prof. Angela V. John
Angela V. John is a historian and biographer. She was, for many years, Professor of History at the University of Greenwich and now lives in Pembrokeshire. Her other books include a biography (with Revel Guest) of the translator, businesswoman and collector, Lady Charlotte Guest and a life of the war correspondent Henry W. Nevinson. She is currently working on a biography of Nevinson's second wife, the writer and suffragette Evelyn Sharp.