At the forefront of the entertainment industries of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were singular actors: Sarah Bernhardt, Gabrielle Réjane, and Mistinguett. Talented women with global ambitions, these performers pioneered the use of film and theatrics to gain international renown. Transnational Trailblazers of Early Cinema traces how these women emerged from the Parisian periphery to become world-famous stars. Through intrepid business prowess and the cultivation of celebrity images, these three artists strengthened ties among countries, continents, and cultures during pivotal years of change.
“Victoria Duckett marshals formidable evidence to compare the careers of three legendary actresses who triumphantly crossed from stage to screen. Star studies should never be the same.” — IAN CHRISTIE, author of Robert Paul and the Origins of British Cinema
“Revealing the innovation and acumen of three turn-of-the-century French actresses in reshaping both theater and cinema, Duckett demonstrates the power of transnational history in all its surprises and contradictions.” — LAURA HORAK, author of Girls Will Be Boys: Cross-Dressed Women, Lesbians, and American Cinema, 1908–1934
“A major reassessment of a significant moment in transnational culture that casts aside disciplinary boundaries to discover a creative and complicated historical process.” — JOHN STOKES, Professor Emeritus of Modern British Literature, King’s College London
“From Belle Époque Paris and Victorian London to cosmopolitan New York, Transnational Trailblazers of Early Cinema takes us on an exhilarating transatlantic and transdisciplinary voyage—archival, intertextual, and historiographic.” — TAMI WILLIAMS, author of Germaine Dulac: A Cinema of Sensations
VICTORIA DUCKETT is Associate Professor of Film at Deakin University and author of Seeing Sarah Bernhardt: Performance and Silent Film.
Duckett, V. 2023. Transnational Trailblazers of Early Cinema: Sarah Bernhardt, Gabrielle Réjane, Mistinguett. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.157
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