The distinctive Victorian pantomime emerged in the middle of the nineteenth century. Its predecessor, the Regency pantomime, the clown-centred Harlequinade, reached its apogee during the pre-eminence of Joseph Grimaldi (1806–1837). The Regency pantomime had a short one or two scene ‘opening’ with a plot derived from fairy story, nursery rhyme, myth and legend and the much longer Harlequinade in which the characters of the opening were transformed into the characters of the commedia dell’arte — Harlequin, Columbine and Pantaloon — and engaged in a knockabout sequence of song, dance and acrobatics. The largely dialogue-less form of the Regency pantomime was dictated by the 1737 Licensing Act which gave a monopoly of the spoken word on stage to the patent theatres, Drury Lane and Covent Garden.
- Giant Killer
- Fairy Tale
- Nursery Rhyme
- Folk Tale
- Childhood Innocence
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
Diane Purkiss, Troublesome Things: a history of fairies and fairy stories (London: Allen Lane, 2000), p. 220.
Jack Zipes, ed., Victorian Fairy Tales (London: Methuen, 1987), pp. XIII–XXIX.
Charles Dickens, Dickens’ Journalism vol. 3, ed. Michael Slater (London: J. M. Dent, 1998), pp. 167–8.
Richard Altick, Paintings from Books (Columbus, Ohio: Ohio State University Press, 1985), p. 263.
Iain Zaczek, Fairy Art (London: Starfire, 2001);
Jane Martineau, ed., Victorian Fairy Painting (London: Merrell Holberton, 1997).
E. T. Cook and Alexander Wedderburn, eds., The Complete Works of John Ruskin (London: George Allen, 1903–1912), vol. 3, pp. 327–49.
Tracy C. Davis, ‘What are Fairies For?’ in Tracy C. Davis and Peter Holland, eds., The Performing Century (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), pp. 32–3.
William Archer, The Theatrical ‘World’ of 1893 (London: Walter Scott, 1894), p. XIII.
Clement Scott and Cecil Howard, eds., The Life and Reminiscences of E. L. Blanchard (London: Hutchinson, 1891), vol. 2, p. 599.
Gerald Frow, ‘Oh, yes it is’–a history of pantomime (London: BBC Books, 1985), p. 124.
J. R. Planch, Recollections and Reflections (London: Tinsley Brothers, 1872), vol. 2, p. 135.
Scott and Howard, The Life and Reminiscences of E. L. Blanchard, vol. 1, p. 318; Edward Wakeling, ed., Lewis Carroll’s Diaries (Luton: the Lewis Carroll Society, 1999), vol. 5, p. 127.
H. G. Hibbert, A Playgoer’s Memories (London: Grant Richards, 1920), pp. 101–2.
John Coleman, Players and Playwrights I Have Known (London: Chatto and Windus, 1888), vol. 2, p. 345.
Edward Stirling, Old Drury Lane (London: Chatto and Windus, 1881), vol. 1, p. 317.
A. E. Wilson, Pantomime Pageant (London: Stanley Paul, 1946), pp. 57–8.
J. B. Booth, The Days We Knew (London: Werner Laurie, 1943), p. 115.
W. Davenport Adams, ‘The Decline of Pantomime’, The Theatre N.S. vol. 5 (February 1882), pp. 85–90.
Leopold Wagner, The Pantomimes and All About Them (London: John Heywood, 1881), p. 9.
Charles Dickens Junior, ‘On the Decline of Pantomime’, The Theatre vol. 27 (January 1896), pp. 21–5.
Augustus Harris, ‘Spectacle’, The Magazine of Art, vol. 12 (1889), pp. 109–13.
James Glover, Jimmy Glover: His Book (London: Methuen, 1911), pp. 158, 161
Editors and Affiliations
© 2010 Jeffrey Richards
About this chapter
Cite this chapter
Richards, J. (2010). E. L. Blanchard and ‘The Golden Age of Pantomime’. In: Davis, J. (eds) Victorian Pantomime. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230291782_2
Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, London
Print ISBN: 978-1-349-30711-1
Online ISBN: 978-0-230-29178-2
eBook Packages: Palgrave Theatre & Performance CollectionLiterature, Cultural and Media Studies (R0)