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Leslie Ritchie


Leslie Ritchie’s research concerns eighteenth-century English literature’s intersections with media and the performing arts. Ritchie’s most recent monograph investigates actor-manager David Garrick’s mediation of celebrity by means of newspapers and other media. Her current research examines the newspaper printer and parliamentary reporter William Woodfall’s contributions to the growth of press freedoms, theatre reviewing, and abolitionist discourse. Earlier work considers texts that feature ‘sister arts’ musical-literary-artistic interdisciplinarity and performance. Her research has been supported by SSHRC grants, and fellowships at Harvard’s Theatre Collections and the Folger Shakespeare Library. Ritchie is on the board of the journal Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Theatre Research, and on the international advisory board of the European Research Council-funded project, ‘Theatronomics: The Business of Theatres, 1732-1809.’ She serves on the Board of Directors for McGill-Queen's University Press. She reviews for journals including TDR: The Drama Review; Theatre Research International; Aphra Behn Online: Interactive Journal for Women in the Arts, 1640-1830; 1650-1850: Ideas, Aesthetics, and Inquiries in the Early Modern Era; and Eighteenth-Century Fiction. Ritchie writes: “if you’re in one of my seminars, chances are you’ll be reading widely across a range of genres, and perhaps visiting W.D. Jordan Library to work with our Special Collections of books and pamphlets from the 1700s.”

Research Interests

British literature of the Restoration & eighteenth century; eighteenth-century British newspapers & journalism history; William Woodfall; music, popular prints & other performance-related ephemera; David Garrick & London theatre

Selected Publications

English Theatrical Anecdotes, 1660-1800

Rutgers University Press

The essays in English Theatrical Anecdotes, 1660-1800 explore the theatrical anecdote’s role in the construction of stage fame in England’s emergent celebrity culture during the long eighteenth century, as well as the challenges of employing such anecdotes in theatre scholarship today. This collection showcases scholarship that complicates the theatrical anecdote and shows its many sides and applications beyond the expected comic punch. Discussing anecdotal narratives about theatre people as producing, maintaining, and sometimes toppling individual fame, this book crucially investigates a key mechanism of celebrity in the long eighteenth century that reaches into the nineteenth century and beyond. The anecdote erases boundaries between public and private and fictionalizing the individual in ways deeply familiar to twenty-first century celebrity culture.

Edited by Leslie Ritchie and Heather Ladd 

David Garrick and the Mediation of Celebrity

Cambridge University Press

Nominated for the Gottschalk Prize for an outstanding historical or critical study of the eighteenth century. An American Library Association Outstanding Academic Title.

Selected Recent and Representative Articles

  • “Femininity and Foreignness in Colman’s Farce, The Musical Lady.” Eds. Linda Zionkowski and Miriam Hart, Women and Music in Georgian Britain. Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell Press, 2023. 174-189. 
  • “Killing Delane; or, Mimickry and the Anecdota obscura.” English Theatrical Anecdotes, 1660-1800. Eds. Heather Ladd and Leslie Ritchie. University of Delaware / Rutgers University Press, 2022. 25-43. Co-author of the Introduction and Coda in this same volume.
  • “Pox on Both Your Houses: The Battle of the Romeos.” Special Issue on Georgian Drama, Eighteenth-Century Fiction. Guest eds. Gillian Russell and Daniel O’Quinn. July 2015. 373-393.
  • “Theatre and Commerce.” The Wiley Encyclopedia of British Literature 1660-1789. Eds. Jack Lynch and Gary Day. London: Blackwell Publishing, 2015.

Forthcoming Publications

  • Articles on six novels (all written by musicians and theatre personnel) for The Cambridge Guide to the Eighteenth-Century Novel, 1660-1820. Ed. April London. The novels include Richard Cross’ The Adventures of John LeBrun (1739) and Charles Dibdin’s Henry Hooka (1807); ‘John Piper’ [John Alcock]’s The Life of Miss Fanny Brown (1761); and three anonymous novels, The News-Paper Wedding (1774); The Author and the Two Comedians; Or, The Adopted Child (1802); and A Peep at the Theatres! And Bird’s-Eye Views of Men in the Jubilee Year! A Novel, Satirical, Critical, and Moral . . . By an Old Naval Officer (1812).
  • Editor, David Garrick, Miss in her Teens; or, the Medley of Lovers (1747). In The Broadview Anthology of Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Drama, eds. Diana Solomon and David Weston. 

Electronic Publications

Graduate Supervision

I am open to supervising thesis projects concerning eighteenth-century British theatrical performance, literature, and / or print media. 

Areas of Study
Performance Studies
Print Culture and Textual Studies
Genres and Forms

Department of English, Queen's University

Watson Hall
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Telephone (613) 533-2153


Telephone (613) 533-6000 ext. 74446 extension 74446


Telephone (613) 533-6000 ext. 74447 extension 74447

Queen's University is situated on traditional Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe territory.