Willem Verelst, detail of Catherine Clive, 1740, courtesy of the Garrick Club
Kitty Clive: The Creation Of A Female Celebrity

Kitty Clive: The Creation Of A Female Celebrity

40 Brunswick Square London WC1N 1AZ
21 Sep 2018 — 07 Feb 2019
  • Exhibitions & Displays
Explore the life and career of 18th-century actress, singer, feminist author and campaigner Kitty Clive.

Kitty Clive, born Catherine Raftor, was a star of the London stage. She sang in Handel’s first London performance of Messiah in 1743, and he created the role of Dalila for her in his oratorio Samson the same year. Clive cultivated her popular image as an actress and fought public battles in the media to achieve greater rights for theatrical performers. She also wrote and performed in several satirical sketches with feminist undertones, and published a pamphlet, The case of Mrs Clive, exposing her ill-treatment by the theatre managers.

In this in-focus display in the Handel Gallery, learn about Kitty Clive’s rise to fame from humble origins to star of the London stage.