Portrait, circa 1887, of Dame Marie Tempest, the professional name of Marie Susan Etherington, an English singer and actress known as the "queen of her profession." At first, her bold stare and exposed ankles seem to fit stereotypes of the time that the theater was an improper profession for women. In reality, her successful career spanned five decades and numerous long-running productions, eventually earning her the title of Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
Photograph by Alexander Bassano
Joseph S. Mertle Collection on the History of Photomechanics