Person Female Born 12/2/1870 Died 7/10/1922
Music hall artiste. Born Matilda Alice Victoria Wood at 36 Plumber Street, Hoxton. She made her debut at the Eagle Tavern in 1884, using the name Bella Delmere. The following year, she changed her stage name and rapidly achieved fame, both in Britain and abroad. Her songs of working-class life such as 'My Old Man' endeared her to her audiences.
She developed a reputation for bawdiness and in 1894, clashed with the Social Purity Alliance and was called before the LCC's theatres and music-halls committee with a view to changing some of her songs. She sang the song 'Johnny Jones' without her customary nods and winks and then performed the demure parlour ballad 'Come Into the Garden Maud' imbuing it with complete innuendo, to demonstrate her point that any obscenity was in the mind; although the lyrics of songs like 'She Sits Among the Cabbages and Peas' leave virtually nothing to the imagination.
She had a turbulent private life, suffering abuse from two of her three husbands. Died at her home, 37 Woodstock Road, Golders Green.