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The Elocutionists – Women, Music, and the Spoken Word - Illinois Scholarship Online
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The Elocutionists: Women, Music, and the Spoken Word

Marian Wilson Kimber


Poetry recitation and music intersected in performances by American women between ca. 1850 and 1950. Through oral interpretation of literature, women aspired to a place in high culture, yet in taking to the platform, female elocutionists transgressed the previous boundaries between private and public domains. Nonetheless, programs, press reports, and archival materials from women’s clubs, elocution schools, women’s colleges, and the Chautauqua circuit demonstrate that musical and literary entertainments by professional and amateur female performers were widespread. Repertoire was selected to b ... More

Keywords: recitation, poetry, elocution, melodrama, literature, entertainments, gender, women composers, accompanied recitation, music

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780252040719
Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2017 DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252040719.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Marian Wilson Kimber, author
The University of Iowa