- Format: Paperback
- ISBN: 978-1-5261-2508-8
- Pages: 264
- Price: £20.00
- Published Date: November 2017
This edited volume provides new readings of the life and career of iconic actress Vivien Leigh (1913-67). Written by experts in theatre and film studies and curators from the Victoria and Albert Museum, it uses newly accessible family archives to explore the intensely complex relationship between Leigh's approach to the craft of acting for stage and screen and how she shaped, developed and projected her public persona as one of the most talked about and photographed actresses of her era.
Featuring key contributors from the UK, France and the US, the chapters range from analyses of Leigh's work on stage and screen to her collaborations with designers and photographers, an analysis of her fan base, her interior designs and the 'public ownership' of Leigh's celebrity status during her lifetime and beyond.
'In an important work of feminist cultural histography, the essays displace earlier approaches to Leigh that see her work as secondary to her personal life and her husband Laurence Olivier's supposedly superior talent. Insightful chapters explore the relationship between Leigh's public and private personas, her preparatory work, performances and collaborations with French directors.'
Maria Delgado, Times Higher Education 'What are you reading?' February 2018
'The eclectic range of writers each brings their own expertise, thus making a unique contribution to advancing academic discourses on Leigh, as well as in several other important areas of study.'
The Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television
'.this volume offers an excellent model for re-thinking how we might push past ways of looking at actresses that privilege uncomplicated ideas about women, performance, and celebrity. Leigh did not write an autobiography.'
Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature
Nominated for the 2018 Richard Wall Memorial Award, honoring books on film and broadcasting
Part I: Re-reading Vivien Leigh
1 Vivien Leigh, actress and icon: introduction - Kate Dorney and Maggie B. Gale
2 Public faces/private lives: performing Vivien Leigh - Kate Dorney
3 Making Vivien Leigh mad - Maggie B. Gale
Part II: The actress at work
4 An actress prepares - John Stokes
5 Film performance and Vivien Leigh: from starlet to Scarlett, and Blanche Dubois to Mrs Stone - Lucy Bolton
6 Vivien Leigh and her French collaborations: a rethinking of her art - Arnaud Duprat de Montero
Part III: Constructed identities
7 From the fans - Kendra Bean
8 Dressing the part: costume and character - Keith Lodwick
9 Leigh through the lens: photographic collaborators - Susanna Brown
10 'A living set': at home with Vivien Leigh - Hollie Price
Kate Dorney is Senior Lecturer in Theatre & Performance at the University of Manchester
Maggie B. Gale is Professor of Drama at The University of Manchester