Of Queen Victoria and Vaudeville


Rule, Britannia! Britannia, Rule the Waves!

That’s not how I feel necessarily…it’s just the music that goes with this picture.

Today is Queen Victoria’s Birthday (1819-1901). I thought I’d give the old gal a shout-out today because she plays such a large part in both of my books. What’s the  Monarch of the United Kingdom and the Empress of India got to do with vaudeville, music hall, theatre, and silent film comedy in the United States, you wonder? Ladies and gentleman, her shadow was wide and dark across the entire English-speaking world. There’s no way to talk about culture in America in the 19th and early 20th century without touching on her influence. Well you can, but you will be missing the boat…a little boat I like to call the H.M.S. Victoria. At any rate, it wasn’t until the 1960s really that the last vestiges of Victorianism truly went into retrograde. For a fuller explication, you’ll need to consult…

No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.


as well as my new book: Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Mediaalso available from amazon.com etc etc etc



  1. Here’s Queen Victoria enjoying a stogie (sp?) on an old cigarette card from the late 1800s: It is a scarce collectable I own myself…don’t forget to notice the stylized Mohawk… (open in Paint for best view!) LeanneP (no I will not stalk you with hundreds of e-mails)



      • HAHAHA – just read your reply – years later! You still at it? I’m in Ontario now…things resolved quite a bit–I had no computer for some time, plus concentation problems keep me from keeping up, sometimes. Hope you are having awesome holidays! Cheers! Happy 2015


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