The Holdens: Monarchs of the Marionette Theatre

by John McCormick

The Holden family were the most celebrated English marionette performers of the nineteenth century.

The trajectory of the Holdens provides a vivid example of developments in entertainment across the century. Having begun on the fairgrounds, they moved on to large halls, theatres and music halls. At the height of their popularity, when they had two main companies in operation, the Holdens were even better known abroad than at home. Their name was almost synonymous with puppetry, and they were credited with every innovation in marionette theatre. Then, with the advent of cinema, their business suffered a rapid decline.

Based on extensive archival research and lavishly illustrated with photographs, sketches, diagrams, playbills and posters, The Holdens: Monarchs of the Marionette Theatre explains why the Holden shows had such impact and were so frequently imitated.

Hardback with dustjacket; 200 pp, 36 B&W & 12 colour ill., ISBN 978 0854 300839

Based on extensive archival research and lavishly illustrated, The Holdens: Monarchs of the Marionette Theatre explains why the Holden family were the most celebrated English marionette performers of the 19th century

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