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The Victorian Music Hall : Culture, Class and Conflict - Dagmar Kift

The Victorian Music Hall

Culture, Class and Conflict

By: Dagmar Kift, Roy Kift (Translator)

Hardcover | 24 October 1996

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With the exception of the occasional local case study, music-hall history has until now been presented as the history of the London halls. This book attempts to redress the balance by setting music-hall history within a national perspective. Kift argues that before the 1890s the halls catered to a predominantly working-class and lower middle-class audience of both sexes and all ages and that they were instrumental in giving these classes a strong and self-confident identity. The halls' ability to sustain a distinct class-awareness was one of their greatest strengths - but this factor was also at the root of many of the controversies which surrounded them. These controversies are at the centre of the book and Kift treats them as test cases for vertical and horizontal social relations which provide fresh insights into nineteenth-century British society and politics.
Industry Reviews
"...very solid and meticulously researched achievement...firmly based in the scholarly literature on the halls while definitely extending its boundaries. It is an important historical study of Victorian popular culture..." Michael Pickering, Victorian Studies "...a vital contribution to the field, the result of pioneering research that sets the halls in a truly national perspective for the first time. ...anyone concerned with social/cultural formations in Victorian Britain will need to take full account of the complexity and loical diversity in the development of cultural institutions, and in their relations with the wider society, that Dagmar Kift has demonstrated so effectively in this book. It will be indispensable to all students of the music halls, and of great value to historians of nineteenth century culture and society." Philemon Eva, Journal of Social History "...Kift provides an excellent overview of recent work on the music hall as well as groundbreaking analyses of the provincial halls and their legal troubles. ...an important book that brings fresh evidence and sophisticated interpretation to the complex interelations of popular entertainment, audiences, local government, and pressure groups." Martha Vicinus, American Historical Review "...providing a mine of knowledge and resources for future scholarship." Essays in Theatre

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