Book currently on submission
The Female Rake: Peg Woffington’s Scandalous Life on the Georgian stage.
The Female Rake tells the story of an actress’s progress from an ‘18th-century Nell Gwyn’ to a heroine of sentimental tragedy. The notorious Peg Woffington was a beauty, wit, courtesan, and one of the best-loved comic actresses of the eighteenth century. Acclaimed for playing high-born women, she also cornered the market in cross-dressed portrayals of soldiers, rakes and men of fashion. Off-stage her lovers were among the most influential figures of the age, including its most famous actor, David Garrick. In the first biography of Peg for half a century, Annette Rubery mixes the sweat and greasepaint of Georgian Dublin theatreland with a wider perspective on the roles that bolder women in that era could choose to adopt, and charts Peg’s progress, fuelled by charisma, charm and fierce independence, out of the shame and penury of her origins into wealth, celebrity and, ultimately, myth.
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I had a great time visiting Bromley House Library in Nottingham (a hidden gem) to give a talk on Peg Woffington…
Hardcover: 96 pages
Publisher: The History Press Ltd (Nov 2012)
Lichfield Then & Now pairs 45 carefully chosen photographs from archives, postcards and private collections with 45 contemporary colour versions of the same views, providing a fascinating visual chronicle of the city’s progress. Compare the old layout of Lichfield’s streets – its shop-fronts, parks and pools – with the Lichfield of today and see for yourself the subtle march of time, even in this most historic of places. Lichfield Then & Now will delight all local historians and will awaken nostalgic memories for those who used to live or work there.
Sometimes, these Then and Now books don’t work and for a variety of reasons. That is not the case with this. I’ve lived in Lichfield for over 30 years and thought that over that time had got to know this small Cathedral City very well. However, the combination of photographs and narrative has made me aware of many things that I’ve either missed or simply was unaware.