The Peerage & The Stage

The other invasion Edwardian society dealt with was the Gaiety Girl. At least the American heiress could paper over her lackluster antecedents with her wealth, and her family stayed in the United States! The Gaiety Girl, as English (or Irish) as can be, with definite working- and lower-class roots, was a living embodiment of a peer’s misalliance–and she didn’t even have wealth. Nevertheless, many actresses turned ladies became exemplary hostesses and wives (though many were excluded from the highest social circles), thus allaying a little of poor mamma’s fears that her son was unequally yoked for life.

Zena Dare, 1908
Zena Dare, who married the Hon. Maurice Brett, the second son of the 2nd Viscount Esher, in 1911.
Connie Gilchrist
Connie Gilchrist, who married the 7th Earl of Orkney in 1892
Camille Clifford
Camille Clifford, who married Captain the Honourable Henry Lyndhurst Bruce, eldest son of the 2nd Baron Aberdare of Duffryn, in 1906.
Belle Bilton
Belle Bilton, who secretly married Viscount Dunlo, heir to the Earl of Clancarty, in 1889.
Decima Moore
Decima Moore who married (as her second husband–and she was his second wife) Sir Frederick Gordon Guggisberg in 1905
Denise Orme
Denise Orme, who secretly married the heir to the 2nd Baron Churston (he succeeded as 3rd Baron in 1910) in 1907.
Olive May
Olive May, who married Victor Paget, grandson of the 2nd Marquess of Anglesey, in 1913 (div. 1921). Married 10th Earl of Drogheda in 1922.


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6 replies on “The Peerage & The Stage”
  1. says: Elizabeth Kerri Mahon

    Thank you for this. I was contemplating writing an Edwardian romance where the heroine was not just a musical comedy star but also American!

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