Dr Olly Double, Reader in Drama, has just published a chapter in a new collection entitled Victorian Comedy and Laughter: Conviviality, Jokes and Dissent (Palgrave, 2020).
The book is an innovative collection of essays, and is the first to situate comedy and laughter as central rather than peripheral to nineteenth century life. It presents new readings of the works of Charles Dickens, Edward Lear, George Eliot, George Gissing, Barry Pain and Oscar Wilde, alongside discussions of much-loved Victorian comics like Little Tich, Jenny Hill, Bessie Bellwood and Thomas Lawrence. Tracing three consecutive and interlocking moods in the period, contributors to the collection engage with the crucial critical question of how laughter and comedy shaped Victorian subjectivity and aesthetic form.
Olly’s chapter is entitled ‘Deliberately Shaped for Fun by the High Gods’: Little Tich, Size and Respectability in the Music Hall’, and it explores the work of music hall comedian Harry Relph (1867–1926) – best known as Little Tich.
To read more about the collection, please see the publisher’s page here: