Fashionable Mowatt

In the epilogue to Anna Cora Mowatt’s comedy Fashion (1845) — modeled, as Edgar Allan Poe pointed out in an early review, on Sheridan’s plays — one character expresses her hope that Fashion will become fashionable. The play’s republican...

The city on stage

Cyrus’s discussion of Irving’s History over the last week or so lays the foundation for one of the big trajectories we trace in Writing New York: the idea of constructed histories — the literariness of the city’s history — and the very...

Astor Place before Starbucks

As many times as I’ve given my lecture on nineteenth-century theater in Writing New York, I’ve almost never been able to pace it right to conclude as planned with the Astor Place Riots, which is probably how I came to write this post last year. I’ll...