Falling and Leaving


I’ve spent much of this week reading Fallen Women plays, from the 1890s – think Lady Windermere’s Fan and The Second Mrs. Tanqueray, if those mean anything. In fact, they all seem to have a woman’s name in the title. The Notorious Mrs. Ebbsmith by Arthur Wing Pinero; Mrs. Warren’s Profession by George Bernard Shaw; Mrs. Dane’s Defence by Henry Arthur Jones. I’ve been enjoying reading them, and not least the reviews – some of which splutter about the indecency of the plays and how they’d never take their daughters to see them, some use such charming phrases as ‘squalid-souled, feverish-brained harlot’. (The picture is Mrs. Patrick Campbell, who made rather a name for herself in portraying fallen women all over the place).

All this for my drama paper, you realise, not a strange literary obsession.

Just to let you know that it could be a while before I write here again – from tomorrow I’m off on my church’s student weekend. And next week I might not see the light of day… I have an extraordinary amount of work to do for my dissertation supervisor. Quite astonishing. Wish me luck!

10 thoughts on “Falling and Leaving

  • January 30, 2009 at 9:23 am
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    I love fallen women in lit but have not read many of these. Wishing all the best with the work!

  • January 30, 2009 at 3:28 pm
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    Ah the Gay 90s were very gay !! :-)

  • January 30, 2009 at 10:02 pm
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    Fallen women are a very interesting topic – will have to read some of these plays! What a beautiful picture of Mrs Campbell.

    Have a great weekend and good luck with your dissertation work! (I need to start thinking about mine…)

    Button x

  • January 31, 2009 at 2:23 am
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    Good luck with the work Simon! I don’t read many plays (which is really a pity), but these sound like fun. Anything someone’s daughter shouldn’t read is probably pretty entertaining! :)

  • January 31, 2009 at 2:39 pm
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    the period from 1890 to 1914 is very interesting from a literary point of view. The Edwardians are very interesting.

  • February 1, 2009 at 9:59 am
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    Odd how there are no fallen men…
    good luck Simon

  • February 1, 2009 at 10:48 pm
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    Have you read Hedda Gabbler? She’s sort of fallen (although it’s a bit more complex than than…)

  • February 2, 2009 at 9:00 am
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    Good luck with all the work Simon! I studied Mrs Warren’s Profession for my drama paper at uni, I think it was one of my favourites!

  • February 3, 2009 at 12:12 pm
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    I wrote on Lady Windermere’s Fan and Mrs. Warren’s Profession at uni too and loved both plays. Obviously it is better if you cna see plays rather than read them but both Wilde and Shaw are very readable too I think.

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