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'Ambisextrous:' The Universal Appeal of Julian Eltinge

  • Author(s): Salvage, Alice
  • et al.
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Public License
Abstract

According to a newspaper of the time, there 'has probably never been an impersonator of feminine characters in this country who has created such a sensation' as Julian Eltinge.[1]  This is a consensus borne out by the modern scholarship, as is the assertion that he was not 'like the ordinary female impersonator.'[2]  He was critically and financially unparalleled.  Whilst Eltinge enjoyed undeniable success with his female audience, largely due to the rise of the emancipated, sexualized 'New Woman,' this paper will focus on some of the reasons for Eltinge's considerable success with a male audience.

[1] Untitled, undated newspaper clipping. Collection *ZC-170 (Julian Eltinge Clippings), New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.

[2] 'An Odd Picture of a Star,'Stage Pictorial, undated, p. 20, *ZC-170, NYPL

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