Sagacious canines and brave brutes: re-discovering the Victorian dog-drama

Dr Ann Featherstone

East Midlands
Notice Period:
Regular (more than one month's notice)
Paid: 50.00
18th September 2017
Entertainment | History | Theatre | Victorian

Bruin, Devilshoof, Lion, Nelson were the canine stars of dog-dramas, famous in the first half of the 19th century for opening gates, carrying eggs without breaking them, performing the ‘seize’ and swimming across a stage lake to rescue a drowning child in plays such as The Bloodhound of Bohemia and Wonga of the Branded Hand or, The Dogs of the Forlorn Loghouse. Dog-dramas depended upon the skill of actor-trainers like John Mathews, Hector Simpson and ‘Barkham’ Cony who turned their dogs into actors. In this talk I reveal the fascinating personalities (canine and human) which made this form of melodrama so popular.

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About Dr Ann Featherstone

I am a retired university lecturer and teacher as well as a writer. I write non-fiction books and articles and I’m a historical novelist with two novels to my name. My particular interest is the 19th century: popular entertainment, theatre, music hall, circus and literature. I have appeared on The One Show, The World’s Oldest Joke (with Sir Michael Grade) and in documentaries about fairs and circuses on BBC4. I’ve been a guest expert on Who Do You Think You Are twice, once with Sheridan Smith and in 2016 with Sir Ian McKellan. I have also appeared on the BBC's A House Through Time.My talks are informative, well-researched and well-presented. Someone said to me recently, “I could have listened to you for another hour!” Praise indeed.

All of my talks are illustrated with good quality Powerpoint slides. I bring my own lap-top and projector. And a screen if necessary.

As well as the East Midlands (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Staffordshire), I will travel to the West Midlands and South Yorkshire .

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