theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013…
“Perhaps in the next world women will be more valued than they are in this.”
SARAH SIDDONS (1755 – 1831)
Part Eight: Out of clay
Self-portrait by Sarah Siddons, plaster bust c 1820 © Victoria and Albert Museum
At first, her mother’s death robbed Cecilia’s life of purpose. Two years later, she found a new mission when she married the phrenologist George Combe. She adopted his theories with evangelical zeal. When she married, she surrendered all her worldly possessions, everything that her mother had earned by her own talents, to her husband, according to the matrimonial laws which did not give women rights over their property owned prior to marriage until 1882.
Under her mother’s influence, Cecilia had been brought up looking for the source of human character and behaviour in the passions; when she married she moved her enquiry into what she believed was a new science of…
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