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Victorian Burlesque~Circus~Show & Call Girls

Prostitution in Victorian England was legal & a part of everyday life for people from every class, ethnicity, & gender. The number of women prostituting during the Victorian Age was staggeringly high. Unless you had a husband to support you the life of the working class woman was considered a breeding ground for failure due to low wages & limited jobs for a woman (i.e, seamstress, governess, teacher). There were somewhere between 8,000 & 80,000 prostitutes in London during the Victorian Age.

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Victorian Burlesque~Circus~Show & Call Girls

Victorian Burlesque~Circus~Show & Call Girls

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Burlesque-This form of music hall entertainment developed during the Victorian age as a direct response to the growing imposition of a stricter morality. Burlesque was meant to turn the world upside down by creating a mixture of satire, wit, music, and dance often with sexually suggestive overtones for a working class audience at the expense of upper class social values.

Victorian circus performer

The original Victorian music hall - House of Wolf still has the original front! (image via This Is Cabaret www.thisiscabaret...)

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This picture is of real Can-Can dancers at the Moulin Rouge in the 1890's.


Victorian lady baseball players from the team Polka Dot Nine, 1884. Cigerette advertising card.

Selected Artworks | The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Community Post: Vintage Burlesque Photos From The 1890s

Original 1890’s Muskegon, Michigan cabinet card

Vintage Photo

Mrs. Potter as Cleopatra, 1889 by Sarony.

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Vintage Showgirl

belle epoque circus - Google Search

Madame Moustache Brothel Vintage Ad .. This ad was used to welcome new customers and promote Madame Moustache's Brothel in 1860 welcoming new customers with a real deal. 'A SPLENDID BARGAIN Grand Opening Special Present this handbill & 50 cents for the regular $1.00 Treat. Good any time through April 30, 1860 - Closed on Sundays.'

Joséphine Marcus Earp (1861-1944) was an American part-time actress, dancer, and prostitute who was best known as the wife of famed Old West lawman and gambler Wyatt Earp. Known as "Sadie" to the public in 1881, she met Wyatt in the frontier boom town Tombstone, Arizona Territory when she was living with Cochise County Sheriff Johnny Behan. She became Earp's common-law wife for 48 years. She died in Los Angeles in 1944.

Forepaugh & Sells Bros Circus, ca. 1899

Vintage Photos of Circus Performers from 1890s - 1910s

Frederick Bancroft 'Slave of the Orient ' (c. 1895)

vintage photographs of circus performers - c.1890s-1910s [via vintage everyday; link to set of images]

Miss Jenny ~ evidently a corsetted circus act with dalmations, a poodle, a pit bull & a couple Jack Russells -- must've been some show...

Зоологический форум / Далматин

Dutch born Margaretha Geertruida Zelle, or more famously known as Mata Hari. She was an exotic dancer, courtesan, and (wrongly) convicted spy for both the French and Germans during World War 1.

Vintage Photograph Circus Black and White Trapeze Artist Woman Victorian

Vintage Photograph Circus Black and White Elephant

Showgirl c1920s

Sequinned Dancer (Photo)

tattoo lady from Victorian era

Masked Ballerina, c. 1880..

Turn of the Century

Bianca Bianchi as Violetta Valery in “La Traviata” by Giuseppe Verdi, sometime after 1880..