Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-99c86f546-66nw2 Total loading time: 0.258 Render date: 2021-11-28T12:49:40.819Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

COSMOPOLITANISM, FEMINISM, AND THE MOVING BODY

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 May 2010

Judith R. Walkowitz*
Affiliation:
The Johns Hopkins University

Extract

In October 1894, Mrs. Laura Ormiston Chant, a feminist purity reformer, successfully challenged the music and dancing license of the Empire Theatre of Varieties before the licensing committee of the London County Council. Mrs. Chant raised two objections to the management of the Empire: first, that “the promenade, an open space behind the dress circle in front of the bar,” where 500 people circulated nightly, was used “as the habitual resort of prostitutes in pursuit of their traffic.” Her “second indictment” was that parts of the performance on stage were exceedingly indecent, including the costumes of the ballet dancers (“London County Council”). Chant had gone to the Empire promenade, twice dressed in her “best” evening gown, and been herself accosted. Her protest, declared The Sketch, provoked the “battle of the Empire,” a “great fight . . . waged with a war of words, a battery of correspondence, and a skirmish of sketches” (qtd in Faulk 77). Visually commemorated in the illustrated press and in numerous music hall spoofs, the “Battle of the Empire” was most extensively covered in the correspondence columns of the Daily Telegraph, under the heading, “Prudes on the Prowl.”

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Amos, Mrs. Sheldon. Testimony, Empire Theatre of Varieties, LCC MIN 10,803, London County Council Records, London, 1894.Google Scholar
Anderson, Amanda. The Powers of Distance: Cosmopolitanism and the Cultivation of Detachment. Princeton: Princeton UP, 2001.Google Scholar
Assael, Brenda. The Circus and Victorian Society. Charlottesville: U of Virginia P, 2005.Google Scholar
Bailey, Peter. “Adventures in Space: Victorian Railway Erotics, or Taking Alienation for a Ride.” Journal of Victorian Culture 9.1 (2004): 121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bailey, Peter. “‘Naughty but Nice’: Musical Comedy and the Rhetoric of the Girl, 1892–1914.” The Edwardian Theatre: Essays on Performance and the Stage. Eds. Booth, Michael R. and Kaplan, Joel H.. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1996. 3660.Google Scholar
Bailey, Peter. Popular Culture and Performance in the Victorian City. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1998.Google Scholar
Bailey, Peter. “Theatres of Entertainment/Spaces of Modernity: Rethinking the British Popular Stage 1890–1914.” Nineteenth Century Theatre 26.1 (1998): 524.Google Scholar
Barker, T. C., and Michael, Robbins. A History of London Transport: Passenger Travel and the Development of the Metropolis. 2 vols. London: Allen and Unwin for the London Transport Executive, 1975–76.Google Scholar
Barstow, Susan Torrey. “‘Hedda Is All of Us’: Late-Victorian Women at the Matinee.” Victorian Studies 43.3 (2001): 387411.Google Scholar
Beckson, Karl E.Arthur Symons: A Life. Oxford: Clarendon, 1987.Google Scholar
Bennett, Arnold. A Man from the North. New York: George H. Doran, 1911. Web. 3 Sept. 2009.Google Scholar
Blair, Sarah. “Local Modernity, Global Modernism: Bloomsbury and the Places of the Literary.” ELH 71.3 (2004): 813–38. Web. 3 Sept. 2009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bland, Lucy. Banishing the Beast: English Feminism and Sexual Morality, 1885–1914. London: Penguin, 1995.Google Scholar
“Bohemian Round the Empire an Evening with Mr. Slater.” Sketch 30 May, 1894: 252.Google Scholar
Booth, Michael R., and Kaplan, Joel H.. The Edwardian Theatre: Essays on Performance and the Stage. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1996.Google Scholar
Breckenridge, Carol A., Pollock, Sheldon I., and Bhabha, Homi K.. Cosmopolitanism. Durham: Duke UP, 2002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bristow, Edward J.Vice and Vigilance: Purity Movements in Britain since 1700. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, 1977.Google Scholar
Brooker, Peter. Bohemia in London: The Social Scene of Early Modernism. Houndmills: Palgrave, 2004.Google Scholar
Burris, John P.Exhibiting Religion: Colonialism and Spectacle at International Expositions, 1851–1893. Charlottesville: U of Virginia P, 2001.Google Scholar
Burton, Antoinette M.Burdens of History: British Feminists, Indian Women, and Imperial Culture, 1865–1915. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina, 1994.Google Scholar
Carter, Alexandra. “Over the Footlights and under the Moon: Images of Dancers in the Ballet at the Alhambra and Empire Palaces of Varieties, 1884–1915.” Dance Research Journal 28.1 (1996): 718.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chant, Laura Ormiston. “Amused London No. I.” Vigilance Record, June 1888: 5.Google Scholar
Chant, Laura Ormiston. “Amused London No. II.” Vigilance Record, July 1888: 69.Google Scholar
Chant, Laura Ormiston. “Amused London No. III.” Vigilance Record, Aug. 1888: 81, 82.Google Scholar
Chant, Laura Ormiston. “Amused London No. IV.” Vigilance Record, Sept. 1888: 89.Google Scholar
Chant, Laura Ormiston. “Amused London No. V.” Vigilance Record, April 1889: 28.Google Scholar
Chant, Laura Ormiston. Why We Attacked the Empire. London: Horace Marshall & Sons: London, 1895.Google Scholar
Chant, Laura Ormiston. “Woman as an Athlete, a Reply to Dr. Arabella Kenealy.” Littell's Living Age, June. 1899: 802–06.Google Scholar
Chant, Laura Ormiston. “Women and the Streets.” Public Morals. Ed. Marchant, James. London: Morgan & Scott, 1902. 128–34.Google Scholar
Chant, Mrs. Transcript Testimony. Empire Theatre of Varieties, LCC MIN 10,803, London County Council Records, London, 10 Oct. 1894.Google Scholar
Cheah, Pheng, and Robbins, Bruce, eds. Cosmopolitics: Thinking and Feeling Beyond the Nation. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1998.Google Scholar
Chevalier, Albert. Albert Chevalier. A Record by Himself. Biographical and Other Chapters by Brian Daly. London: John Macqueen, 1895.Google Scholar
Churchill, Winston. A Roving Commission: My Early Life. New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1930.Google Scholar
Clifford, James. “Mixed Feelings.” Cosmopolitics: Thinking and Feeling Beyond the Nation. Ed. Cheah, Pheng and Robbins, Bruce. 362–70.Google Scholar
Colson, Marvin. Places of Performance: The Semiotics of Theatre Architecture. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1989.Google Scholar
“County of London Sessions,” Times 16 July 1892: 16. Web. 3 Sept. 2009.Google Scholar
Davis, Tracy C.Actresses as Working Women: Their Social Identity in Victorian Culture. London: Routledge, 1991.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Donohue, Joseph W.Fantasies of Empire: The Empire Theatre of Varieties and the Licensing Controversy of 1894. Iowa City: U of Iowa P, 2005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Durbach, Nadja. Bodily Matters: The Anti-Vaccination Movement in England, 1853–1907. Durham: Duke UP, 2005.Google Scholar
“Editorial Notes.” Vigilance Record 15 Jan. 1888: 55.Google Scholar
“Editorial Notes.” Vigilance Record 15 June. 1887: 34.Google Scholar
“Editorial Notes.” Vigilance Record 15 May. 1887: 26.Google Scholar
Empire Theatre of Varieties, 1889–1904. Theatres and Music Halls Presented Papers, LCC MIN 10,803, London County Council Records, London.Google Scholar
“Englishman to the Editor.” Daily Telegraph 13 Oct. 1894: 5.Google Scholar
“A Facer.” Moonshine 24 Oct. 1894: 193.Google Scholar
Farfan, Penny. “From Hedda Gabler to Votes for Women: Elizabeth Robins's Early Feminist Critique of Ibsen.” Theatre Journal 48.1 (1996): 5978. Web. 3 Sept. 2009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Faulk, Barry. Music Hall and Modernity: The Late-Victorian Discovery of Popular Culture. Athens: Ohio UP, 2004.Google Scholar
Ferry, Susan J. “Bodily Knowledge: Female Body Culture and Subjectivity in Manchester, 1870–1900.” Ph.D. thesis. Johns Hopkins University, 2003.Google Scholar
“The Finest Stage Crowd of Recent Years: ‘Votes for Women’.” The Sketch 15 May, 1907: 13.Google Scholar
Fischer, Gayle V.Pantaloons and Power: Nineteenth-Century Dress Reform in the United States. Kent: Kent State UP, 2001.Google Scholar
Flitch, J. E. Crawford. Modern Dancing and Dancers. London, 1910.Google Scholar
Gill, Mr. Transcript Testimony. Empire Theatre of Varieties, LCC MIN 10,803, London County Council Records, London, 14 Oct. 1896.Google Scholar
Glenn, Susan A.Reflections on ‘the Body’ in Labor History.” Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas 4.2 (2007): 4953. Web. 3 Sept. 2009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Green, Benny. The Last Empires: A Music Hall Companion. London: Pavilion, 1986.Google Scholar
Guest, Ivor Forbes. Ballet in Leicester Square: The Alhambra and the Empire, 1860–1915. London: Dance Books, 1992.Google Scholar
Harrison, Charles. Theatricals and Tableaux Vivants for Amateurs. Giving Full Directions as to Stage Arrangements, “Making up,” Costumes and Acting. London: L. Upcott Gill, 1882.Google Scholar
Hibbert, Henry George. “Empire Theatre to Be Closed: Mr. Butt Takes a Step Which Costs Thousands; What the Promenade Was.” Weekly Dispatch 23 July 1916.Google Scholar
Hirschfeld, Magnus. The Homosexuality of Men and Women. Amherst: Prometheus, 2000.Google Scholar
Honeycombe, Gordon. Selfridges: Seventy-Five Years; the Story of the Store 1909–1984. London: Park Lane, 1984.Google Scholar
“How Will Dress Reform Affect Trade and the Well-Being of English Work People.” Rational Dress Gazette Oct. 1899: 51–52.Google Scholar
John, Angela V.Elizabeth Robins: Staging a Life, 1862–1952. London: Routledge, 1995.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jones, Gareth Stedman. “Working-Class Culture and Working-Class Politics in London, 1870–1900: Notes on the Remaking of a Working Class.” Journal of Social History 7.4 (1974): 460508.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Joyce, Patrick. The Rule of Freedom: Liberalism and the Modern City. London: Verso, 2003.Google Scholar
Kaplan, Joel H., and Stowell, Sheila. Theatre and Fashion: Oscar Wilde to the Suffragettes. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1994.Google Scholar
King, E. M.Rational Dress; or, the Dress of Women and Savages. London: Kegan Paul, 1882.Google Scholar
Kirwan, Daniel Joseph. Palace and Hovel: Or, Phases of London Life. Being Personal Observations of an American in London. Hartford: Belknap & Bliss, 1870.Google Scholar
Koritz, Amy. Gendering Bodies/Performing Art: Dance and Literature in Early Twentieth-Century British Culture. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 1995.Google Scholar
Koritz, Amy. “Moving Violations: Dance in the London Music Hall, 1890–1910.” Theatre Journal 42.4 (1990): 419–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kramer, Paul A.Empires, Exceptions, and Anglo-Saxons: Race and Rule between the British and United States Empires, 1880–1910.” Journal of American History 88.4 (2002): 1315–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lester, Marjory. “Family Histories.” Unpublished paper, n.d.Google Scholar
Levine, Philippa. “Chant, Laura Ormiston (1848–1923).” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004). 26 January, 2005. <http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/49196>. Web. 3 Sept. 2009..+Web.+3+Sept.+2009.>Google Scholar
“London County Council: The Licensing Committee”. Music Hall and Theatre Review 12 Oct. 1894: 12–14.Google Scholar
Macqueen-Pope, W. “Old-Time Magic of the Empire.” Everybody's 31 Dec. 1949.Google Scholar
Mikhail, E. H., ed. Oscar Wilde, Interviews and Recollections. London: Macmillan, 1979.Google Scholar
Montague, Ken. “The Aesthetics of Hygiene: Aesthetic Dress, Modernity, and the Body as Sign.” Journal of Design History 7.2 (1994): 91–112. Web. 3 Sept. 2009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Montgomery-Massingberd, Hugh, Watking, David, Collie, Keith. The London Ritz: A Social and Architectural History. London: Aurum, 1980.Google Scholar
Mort, Frank. Cultures of Consumption: Masculinities and Social Space in Late Twentieth-Century Britain. London: Routledge, 1996.Google Scholar
Mort, Frank. Dangerous Sexualities: Medico-Moral Politics in England since 1830. 2nd ed.London: Routledge, 2000.Google Scholar
“Mrs. Chant in America.” Vigilance Record May 1890: 47, 48.Google Scholar
“Mrs. Ormiston Chant: Interview.” Women's Penny Paper 1 Dec. 1888: 1. Web. 3 Sept. 2009.Google Scholar
“Mrs. Prowlina Pry – I Hope I Don't Intrude.” Punch 27 Oct. 1894: 194.Google Scholar
Nead, Lynda. Victorian Babylon: People, Streets and Images in Nineteenth-Century London. New Haven: Yale UP, 2000.Google Scholar
Newton, Stella Mary. Health, Art and Reason: Dress Reformers of the 19th Century. London: J. Murray, 1974.Google Scholar
Nickson, Richard. “G.B.S. And Laura Ormiston Chant – Man and Superwoman.” The Independent Shavian 37.1–2 (1999): 2124.Google Scholar
“Notes and Comments.” Rational Dress Gazette Jan. 1899: 15.Google Scholar
Nussbaum, Martha C. “Patriotism and Cosmopolitanism?” Respondents, for Love of Country: Debating the Limits of Patriotism. Ed. Cohen, Joshua. Boston: Beacon, 1996. 220.Google Scholar
Ogborn, Miles. Spaces of Modernity: London's Geographies, 1680–1780. New York: Guilford, 1998.Google Scholar
Pennybacker, Susan D.A Vision for London, 1889–1914: Labour, Everyday Life and the LCC Experiment. London: Routledge, 1995.Google Scholar
“The Plague in India.” Vigilance Record Jan. 1889: 140.Google Scholar
“Police.” Times 18 July 1902: 13. Web. 3 Sept. 2009.Google Scholar
Rappaport, Erika Diane. Shopping for Pleasure: Women in the Making of London's West End. Princeton: Princeton UP, 2000.Google Scholar
Reed, Miss. Testimony, Empire Theatre of Varieties, LCC MIN 10,803, London County Council Records, London, 1896.Google Scholar
Rolley, Katrina. “Fashion, Femininity, and the Fight for the Vote.” Art History 13 (1990): 4771.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Russell, Dave. “Varieties of Life: The Making of the Edwardian Music Hall.” The Edwardian Theatre: Essays on Performance and the Stage. Ed. Booth, Michael R. and Kaplan, Joel H.. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1996. 6185.Google Scholar
Ryan, Mary P.Women in Public: Between Banners and Ballots, 1825–1880. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1990.Google Scholar
Saint, Andrew. ed. Politics and the People of London: The London County Council, 1889–1965. London: Hambledon, 1989.Google Scholar
Simmel, Georg, Frisby, David, Featherstone, Mike. Simmel on Culture. London: Routledge, 1997.Google Scholar
Smith, Alison. The Victorian Nude: Sexuality, Morality, and Art. Manchester: Manchester UP, 1996.Google Scholar
Steedman, Carolyn. Strange Dislocations: Childhood and the Idea of Human Interiority, 1780–1930. London: Virago, 1995.Google Scholar
Stokes, John. In the Nineties. Hemel Hempstead: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1989.Google Scholar
Stowell, Sheila. A Stage of Their Own: Feminist Playwrights of the Suffrage Era. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 1992.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Summerfield, Penelope. “The Effingham Arms and the Empire: Deliberate Selection in the Evolution of Music Hall in London.” Ed. Eileen Yeo and Stephen Yeo. 209–40.Google Scholar
Taylor, Tim. “Leicester Square.” Leicester Square Scrapbook, St. Martins in the Field Volumes, vol. 1/1. Westminster City Archives, London.Google Scholar
“They All Loved Leicester Square.” Queen 1 Feb. 1950: 24.Google Scholar
Tickner, Lisa. The Spectacle of Women: Imagery of the Suffrage Campaign, 1907–14. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1988.Google Scholar
Tyrrell, Ian. Woman's World/Woman's Empire: The Woman's Christian Temperance Union in International Perspective, 1880–1930. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 1991.Google Scholar
Walkowitz, Judith R.City of Dreadful Delight: Narratives of Sexual Danger in Late-Victorian London. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1992.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Walkowitz, Judith R.. “Going Public: Shopping, Street Harassment, and Streetwalking in Late Victorian London.” Representations 62 (1998): 130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Walkowitz, Judith R.. Prostitution and Victorian Society: Women, Class, and the State. New York: Cambridge UP, 1980.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Walkowitz, Judith R.. “The ‘Vision of Salome’: Cosmopolitanism and Erotic Dancing in Central London, 1908–1918.” American Historical Review 108.2 (2003): 336–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Walkowitz, Rebecca L.Cosmopolitan Style: Modernism Beyond the Nation. New York: Columbia UP, 2006.Google Scholar
Waters, Chris. “Progressives, Puritans, and the Council, 1889–1914.” Politics and the People of London: The London County Council, 1889–1965. Ed. Saint, Andrew. London: Hambledon, 1989. 4970.Google Scholar
Weightman, Gavin. Bright Lights, Big City: London Entertained, 1830–1950. London: Collins & Brown, 1992.Google Scholar
Wilde, C. J. “Oscar Wilde at the Vale.” Oscar Wilde, Interviews and Recollections. Ed. Mikhail, E. H.. London: Macmillan, 1979. 200–06.Google Scholar
Williams, Raymond. Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society. London: Croom Helm, 1976.Google Scholar
Winkiel, Laura. “Suffrage Burlesque: Modernist Performance in Elizabeth Robins's The Convert.” MFS Modern Fiction Studies 50.3 (2004): 570–94. Web. 3 Sept. 2009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Winter, James. London's Teeming Streets: 1830–1914. London: Routledge, 1993.Google Scholar
Yeo, Eileen, and Yeo, Stephen, eds. Popular Culture and Class Conflict, 1590–1914: Explorations in the History of Labour and Leisure. Brighton, Sussex: Harvester, 1981.Google Scholar
1
Cited by

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

COSMOPOLITANISM, FEMINISM, AND THE MOVING BODY
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

COSMOPOLITANISM, FEMINISM, AND THE MOVING BODY
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

COSMOPOLITANISM, FEMINISM, AND THE MOVING BODY
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *