Lydia Thompson: Mother of Burlesque


Today is Lydia Thompson’s birthday. She had naught to do with vaud, so I don’t include her in my “Stars of Vaudeville” series. However many consider her the Mother of Burlesque, so it is fitting that we take our hats off to her today. Furthermore, I feel moved to do something I rarely do — plug some other resources besides No Applause! The best book I know about old-school burlesque (by far) is Horrible Prettiness:Burlesque and American Culture by Robert C. Allen.  Honestly, the book is so good and authoritative, that I actually (without looking at the dust jacket very carefully obviously) went around assuming that a woman had written it. It is a must read. Til then, check out Mina Von Vixen’s terrific post here. 



  1. […] known for his contributions to the field of burlesque. It was he who, inspired by the success of Lydia Thompson and her British Blonds, decided to wed the concept of an all-girl show to the format of a minstrel show — and for a […]


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