The Cult of the Child, by Ernest Dowson

Elliott & Fry – Minnie Terry as Daisy Desmond
Elliott & Fry – Minnie Terry as Daisy Desmond (1889) – National Portrait Gallery

In 1889, the Parliament of the United Kingdom passed the Prevention of Cruelty to, and Protection of, Children Act. An amendment had then been proposed to ban children under the age of 10 from acting on stage, which provoked a widespread opposition in public opinion. Dowson entered into the debate, arguing that children are natural actors, that their performance is always artistic. Moreover, they have a wonderful charm, of which spectators should not be deprived. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…