Bancroft, Marie

  • Catherine QuirkEmail author
Living reference work entry


Marie Effie (Wilton) Bancroft (1839–1921) was an actress, manager, and writer, best known for her work toward raising the respectable reputation of the London theatre. From the time she took over as actress-manager of the newly renovated Prince of Wales Theatre in 1865, until her retirement from the stage in 1885, she strove constantly alongside her husband and managerial partner to establish the theatre as a respectable professional pursuit, even – or especially – for an upwardly mobile married woman. Her writing, both for performance and for publication, has the same end in view. She published two memoirs, jointly written with her husband, and a novel, all of which create a particular image of respectable femininity centered on the working woman. Her four plays, which all received West End productions between 1890 and 1901, continue the work she began in her acting and managerial careers: her plays have domestic settings and rely on the kind of attention to realistic...


London theatre Realism Naturalism Cup and saucer drama Burlesque 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.McGill UniversityMontréalCanada

Section editors and affiliations

  • Emily Morris
    • 1
  1. 1.St. Thomas More College, University of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada