19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century, No 8 (2009)

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Melodrama and its Criticism: An Essay in Memory of Sally Ledger

Juliet John


The sudden, unexpected death of Sally Ledger in January has deeply affected all who were fortunate enough to know and work with her. In this specially commissioned piece, Juliet John reviews the historiography of melodrama and considers its psychology, aesthetics and ethics. She goes on to discuss Sally's work on Dickens's melodramatic aesthetics and radical politics. As Michael Dobson writes in his Introduction: 'Sally was a warm defender of the rights of the people to emotional intensity, both inside the theatre and beyond it, and the grief experienced across the scholarly world and beyond on Sally's sudden death is a fitting tribute to that critical priority.'

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