Abstract Actors, who deliver the words of playwrights rather than their own, have largely been disregarded by rhetorical scholars despite the fact that the theatrical stage was one of the first arenas in which women struggled to gain public acceptance. A noteworthy public woman in this regard was Sarah Siddons, the late-eighteenth-century actor whose talent and influence led to her recognition as an exemplar of delivery in such rhetorical manuals as Gilbert Austin's Chironomia (1806) and Henry Siddons's Practical Illustrations of Rhetorical Gesture and Action (1807). This article recovers Siddon's rhetorical legacy by examining her distinctive delivery style, emotional powers, and maternal performance in public spaces.

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