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Victorian Historian Book Event: The Cherry Sisters

Meet The Victorian Historian who will be at The Heartfelt History Gift Shop in Gettysburg to discuss his new book!

Five poverty-stricken women from Iowa wished to visit the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. They first needed to earn enough money for train fare and hotel expenses. To earn the money, they quickly wrote a variety act to perform on stage at a local opera house in front of a paying audience. Deciding afterward to take to the stage as a career, they could not have imagined the national fame their decision would bring them over the next four decades – fame they would earn for the wrong reasons.

The Cherry Sisters earned a reputation of being so bad they were good – so much so that they were propelled to national stardom, performing in some of the largest cities throughout the United States, in some of the best-known theaters, including appearing on Broadway. Fame didn’t come without its difficulties though, and the sisters found themselves the targets of verbal and physical attacks both on and off the stage, and the recipients of countless negative theatrical reviews, many going far beyond what was necessary to print – not to mention their performances were so bad they incited violent riots. All the while the sisters believed they were the best talent on the nation’s stage, a belief no one else shared. They were constantly at odds with the press and audiences, and took to defending themselves in newspapers as well as verbally and physically in public against those who showed disapproval of their acts. In addition, the sisters were no strangers to filing lawsuits and being sued themselves, both related and unrelated to their line of work.

Follow the Cherry sisters’ thrilling journey, from their humble beginnings to their rise to fame and beyond, and discover why they were referred to as “The Rottenest Things on Earth”.

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