English-Canadian Actresses and the Multiple Networks of the Urban Atlantic, 1890s–1920s
This chapter explores the urban Atlantic through the media of transatlantic English-language theater in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It focuses on two Canadian-born actresses, Margaret Anglin and Julia Arthur, whose careers spanned North America as well as England (Arthur) and Australia (Anglin). These women’s lives illuminate the ways in which theatrical networks and global technologies of transportation and communication (steamships, railroads, and telegraphs) connected Atlantic cities to the interior of the United States and Canada and, as well, to a Pacific world. Their careers also demonstrate how celebrity culture was part of the urban Atlantic, a culture that encompassed the realms of the public and the intimate. Anglin’s and Arthur’s lives suggest that the urban Atlantic was both a material, lived experience as well as being an imagined, albeit powerful, space of fantasy and desire.