“Never Too Late: Your Roadmap to Reinvention” from best-selling author Claire Cook

Reinvention - Claire CookAfter giving us eleven novels in fourteen years, Claire Cook (Must Love Dogs) has reinvented herself once again with her first nonfiction book—Never Too Late: Your Roadmap to Reinvention (without getting lost along the way).

Wondering how to get to that life you really thought you’d be living by now? Finally ready to dig up that buried dream? Still trying to figure out what you want to be when you grow up? Then Never Too Late is the book you’ve been looking for.

Claire Cook speaks to real women—our fears and obstacles and hopes and desires—and gives us cutting edge tools to get where we want to go. Bursting with inspiration, insider stories, and practical strategies. Filled with humor, heart, encouragement, and great quotes.

You’ll hop on a plane with Claire as you figure out the road to your own reinvention. She’ll share her own stories, successes, and failures, as well as those of other reinventors, plus tips for getting a plan, staying on track, pulling together a support system, building your platform in the age of social networking, dealing with the inevitable ups and downs, overcoming perfectionism, and tuning in to your authentic self to propel you toward your goals.

A little bit memoir, a lot inspiration, Never Too Late: Your Roadmap to Reinvention (without getting lost along the way) is real, grounded, and just the book you need to start reinventing your life.

Claire shares the opening of Never Too Late: Your Roadmap to Reinvention (without getting lost along the way) on YouTube.

Find out more at ClaireCook.com and connect with Claire on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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Claire Cook

Claire Cook wrote her first book in her minivan outside her daughter’s swim practice when she was 45. At 50, she walked the red carpet at the Hollywood premiere of her second novel, Must Love Dogs, starring Diane Lane and John Cusack. She is now the USA Today bestselling author of 11 novels, and her first nonfiction book, Never Too Late: Your Roadmap to Reinvention (without getting lost along the way) is now available. Read excerpts of her novels and find book club questions at ClaireCook.com.

“The exuberant and charming Claire Cook is one of the sassiest and funniest creators of contemporary women’s fiction.”—The Times-Picayune

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London Theatre in Regency Times

Covent_Garden_ Theatre_1809

By the early 19th century, The Industrial Revolution had made England the leading manufacturing and trading nation in the world. In 1800, London was already the world’s largest city, and its population would almost double over the next four decades, to approximately two million.

Large numbers of the working classes, drawn to jobs in commerce and manufacturing, began to attend the theatre for the first time, causing major changes to entertainments formerly reserved for more well-to-do patrons of the arts. Both Covent Garden and the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, were rebuilt in the 1790’s to accommodate about 3,000 and 3,600 people, respectively. Minor theatres were opened outside Westminster in the 1780’s and 1790’s; then,  in 1804, when the Earl of Dartmouth became Lord Chamberlain, he authorized the licensing of minor theatres inside the City of Westminster, so long as they did not infringe upon the rights of the “patent houses” of Covent Garden, Drury Lane and the Haymarket. He also authorized longer seasons for the Haymarket, which had been restricted to a five-month season and, by 1812, it was open seven months of the year.

Attempting to retain audiences, the patent theatres began to include minor dramas in their offerings and extended the evenings to five or even six hours. By 1820, it wasn’t unusual for the evening’s bill to include two full-length plays, an afterpiece, and a number of variety acts.

Since only the patent houses could play regular drama, along with the minor genres, the other theatres found loopholes offered by the burletta and the melodrama, characteristically a three-act play with a musical score. Thus, regular drama, such as Shakespeare, could be performed in three acts with musical accompaniment and called “melodrama.” This game of ruse and subterfuge continued throughout the Regency and after, until the Theatre Regulation Act of 1843, which abolished the privileges of the patent theatres, and allowed any licensed theatre to perform works of any type, although all plays continued to be licensed by the Lord Chamberlain.

The upper classes might have worn their very best, but otherwise, theatre-going was an informal business, with members of the audience talking loudly and arriving or leaving at any time during the performances. Dandies strolled and mingled in the “pit,” taking snuff and showing off the latest fashions.

Most of the romantic poets of the day attempted drama, including Coleridge, Wordsworth, Keats and Shelley. George Gordon, Lord Byron, who was a member of the governing committee of Drury Lane, wrote more plays suited for the stage than the others, although only one was actually performed during his lifetime (and that one, “Marino Faliero,” in 1821, over his objections).

The best known actors and actresses on the London stage during the Regency included several members of the Kemble family, especially Sarah Kemble Siddons, who was considered the greatest tragic actress of her day until her retirement in 1812. The Kemble “classical” school of acting was continued by Charles Mayne Young (1777-1856), J. M. Vandenhoff (1790-1861), and Eliza O’Neill (1791-1827). Their classical approach was challenged after 1814 by the romantic school, perhaps best exemplified by Edmund Kean. Kean perfected the style, and exerted his “star power” frequently to demand £50 or more for each performance, an amount unheard of before his time. Other well-known performers, such as William Charles Macready (1793-1873) and Mme. Eliza Vestris (1797-1856), later went from the stage into theatre management.