Australasian Journal of Victorian Studies, Vol 18, No 2 (2013)

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The English Warner Brother triumphs over religious hegemony on the road to celebrity and dynasty.

Ann Lazarsfeld-Jensen


English music halls were facing ruin as they were persecuted through the licensing courts at the hands of evangelical Christian fanatics in the fin de siecle. It was difficult for predominantly Jewish theatrical entrepreneurs to oppose popular morals. The long forgotten founder of Warner Brothers International, Dick Warner, used his personal charisma to weld disparate music hall interests throughout England into profitable new ventures in variety entertainment. Between 1880 and 1914 his agency and syndicates brought celebrity and dynasty dozens of artistes, agents and owners in the UK, US, South Africa and Australia.

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