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Tracing Your Theatrical Ancestors (ePub)

A Guide for Family Historians

Family History P&S History

By Prof Katharine M Cockin
Imprint: Pen & Sword Family History
Series: Tracing Your Ancestors
File Size: 30.7 MB (.epub)
ISBN: 9781526732064
Published: 30th June 2023


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How can you find out about the lives of ancestors who were involved in the world of theatre: on stage and on film, in the music halls and travelling shows, in the circus and in all sorts of other forms of public performance? Katharine Cockin’s handbook provides a fascinating introduction for readers searching for information about ancestors who had clearly defined roles in the world of the theatre and performance as well as those who left only a few tantalizing clues behind.

The wider history of public performance is outlined, from its earliest origins in church rituals and mystery plays through periods of censorship driven by campaigns on moral and religious grounds up to the modern world of stage and screen. Case studies, which are a special feature of the book, demonstrate how the relevant records and be identified and interpreted, and they prove how much revealing information they contain. Information on relevant archives, books, museums and websites make this an essential guide for anyone who is keen to explore the subject.

"This is a very practical handbook for anyone researching theatrical ancestors. It is also worth reading to find out how to check whether you actually have theatrical ancestors on your family tree but never knew."

Genealogists’ Magazine - Volume 34, Number 8, December 2023

"One of the best things about delving into the world of performance is the colourful and kooky characters you will often encounter, and many are included here ..."

Who Do You Think You Are? Issue 209, October 2023

"This is not only an invaluable guide on the subject for family historians, but also an absorbing read for anyone with a deep interest in the history of the performing arts."

Journal of the Bristol & Avon Family History Society - September 2023 - Number 193

Another genealogical win. Some great ideas here for tracing hard(er) to find ancestors. Perfect for Theatrical ancestor hunting but good ideas for everyone to try.

NetGalley, Aubrey Kerr

About Prof Katharine M Cockin

Professor Katharine Cockin teaches in the Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies at the University of Essex. Her interdisciplinary research has focused on archival studies, theatre history and digital humanities in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She is the author of fifteen books including, as editor, several volumes of the collected letters of Ellen Terry, as well as numerous articles and essays. She is Principal Investigator of the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Searching for Theatrical Ancestors project.

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