Actors and Gentlemen
Posted by Caroline on November 27, 1997 at 20:22:27:
In response to Actresses in the late XVIII century, written by Constanza on November 27, 1997 at 19:59:19
The main thing here is that actors of either sex were not considered gentlefolk, if only because they worked for their living. Actors(of both sexes), if good, of course became popular and sought-after personalities, as today, and everyone sought their company. The Garrick Club was designed as a place where gentlemen and actors(male)could meet and socialise, as actors would not normally be admitted to a gentlemen's club. Ladies (or any other women who were not strictly ladies) were not allowed, if I remember rightly . So even if Actresses were not considered "loose", it wasn't really proper for a gentleman to marry one, simply because she wasn't of his class.
I think there was an assumption that actresses were not really 'ladylike', shall we say. Does this not exist to some extent, even today? How many times has the phrase "actress/singer/model" been used as a euphemism for "bimbo"? The point is, that then, as now, actresses relied on their looks to get them fame and fortune, and sometimes have(and had) "sugar daddies" .
This is off the top of my head, and I cannot think of any references, except perhaps the Garrick Club being in the AA Book of British Towns under the History of the West End section. I 've seen a painting of the period of an actress who married a title, but I cannot put my finger on it. Sorry, maybe later.
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