‘Ethiopian’ street entertainers, London, 1859

January 5, 2013

the ‘Ethiopian’ nuisance, street entertainers, London, 1859
(The Illustrated London News, London, I January 1859, p. 13)

‘A clever caricaturist has contributed a couple of Engravings illustrative of the various kinds of music familiar to the inhabitants of this great metropolis. The one, ”Outdoor Music,” pictures the tuneful groups who enchant the Cockney ear in all our streets and thoroughfares; the other, ”Indoor Music,” brings before us the more refined entertainments of our theatres, concerts, and drawing-rooms. We give the first in our present Number, reserving the second for next week… . The three fellows with black faces belong to the Ethiopian nuisance – a nuisance which, thanks to the refinement of public taste, has made its way from our streets to our theatres and concert-rooms. We are inundated with nigger minstrels and nigger songs; our music-publishers sell them in abundance, and ladies warble them in our drawing-rooms. It is a caprice of fashion which, like other caprices, will give way to something else, perhaps equally absurd.’
(The Illustrated London News, London, Saturday, 1 January 1859, pp.12a/14a)


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