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A New History of Early English Drama

de John D. Cox (Editor), David Scott Kastan (Editor)

Outros autores: Peter W. M. Blayney (Contribuinte), Michael D. Bristol (Contribuinte), Margreta de Grazia (Contribuinte), Richard Dutton (Contribuinte), John R. Elliott, Jr (Contribuinte)11 mais, Peter H. Greenfield (Contribuinte), Roslyn Knutson (Contribuinte), Jeffrey Masten (Contribuinte), Barbara A. Mowat (Contribuinte), Alan H. Nelson (Contribuinte), John Orrell (Contribuinte), Eric Rasmussen (Contribuinte), W. R. Streitberger (Contribuinte), John Wasson (Contribuinte), Paul Werstine (Contribuinte), Paul Whitfield White (Contribuinte)

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481433,908 (3.4)2
For many years the study of pre-seventeenth-century English drama was shaped largely by an understanding that everything written revolved around the individual author, either as part of the tradition that prepared the way for Shakespeare or as part of his legacy. Now twenty-five original essays by leading theorists and historians chart a paradigmatic shift within the field. In contrast to the traditional emphasis on individual authors, the contributors here explore the place of the stage within the larger society, as well as issues of performance and physical space. The essays are organized into three sections: "Early English Drama and Physical Space" examines the settings in which plays were acted; "Early English Drama and Social Space" juxtaposes the theater with such contemporary subcultures as the church, the city, and the court. Finally, "Early English Drama and Conditions of Performance and Publication" explores a wide range of material conditions and contexts, from props to printers. A major summary of contemporary scholarship and a storehouse of new theoretical and historical information, A New History of Early English Drama skillfully illustrates the complex influence of physical and social elements woven into the texts, and provides an innovative approach to literary studies and cultural history.… (mais)
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The book consists of twenty six essays by various contributors and its aim according to the editors is to provide the most comprehensive account of early English drama. It has been labelled as new because it also intends to summarise the current state of knowledge and to banish some myths that have been in existence since the 1930’s. This book was published in 1997 and so there might be time now for an even newer History of Early English Drama.

By the very nature of the book the essays are topic driven rather than a chronological history. For the most part the essays are well written; not too academic and many contain interesting details that cumulatively work to give a good impression of early English drama. I tend to think of early English drama as pre-Shakespeare and I was pleased to see many essays based on the origins of stage plays, before there were any permanent theatres. For example there are essays on; The English church as a theatrical space, staging at the universities, entertainments at court and private functions as well as streets and markets and the tableaus that were produced for Royal events (Wonderful Spectacles). There were also good essays on the building and design of early London theatres and how they were financed, as well as an examination of the theatre goers and the popularity of the plays. However once the essays started to focus on the permanent stage theatres, then many of the examples of productions and other staging issues tended to relate mainly to Shakespeare. Of course there has been much research on the staging and production of Shakespeare’s plays and so there is much to draw on to provide examples, but I was hoping that he would not appear so often in some these essays as he did.

There are a group of essays around the topics of manuscripts, revisions of scripts and the publication of play books and this is where the myth busters have gone to work. Sir Walter Wilson Greg’s theories on the authorship of manuscripts, publishing and the demand for play books, which seem to have held sway since the 1930’s come in for some serious criticism, so much so that it would appear that the whole subject has been sidetracked by him for a considerable number of years and have resulted in critics going off at tangents in unearthing issues of skullduggery by various patrons, printers and playwrights based on Greg’s research. The essays in this book expose the flaws in Greg’s theories and do a good job in setting the record straight as well as making the point that intellectual property was not the issue in the 16th century that it has become today. Plays were written, revised, sometimes rewritten by more than one author, it was how it worked when the issue was all about making the play fit for a production or a new revision.

I enjoyed the book and it has provided me with some essential background for some projected reading of 16th century drama, which after all was the jewel in the crown of the English Renaissance. I am not so sure about the title ‘A New History’, perhaps a revised history would be nearer the mark. Still an interesting and informative read and so 4 stars. ( )
3 vote baswood | Apr 30, 2016 |
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» Adicionar outros autores (2 possíveis)

Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Cox, John D.Editorautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Kastan, David ScottEditorautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Blayney, Peter W. M.Contribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Bristol, Michael D.Contribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
de Grazia, MargretaContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Dutton, RichardContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Elliott, John R., JrContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Greenfield, Peter H.Contribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Knutson, RoslynContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Masten, JeffreyContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Mowat, Barbara A.Contribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Nelson, Alan H.Contribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Orrell, JohnContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Rasmussen, EricContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Streitberger, W. R.Contribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Wasson, JohnContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Werstine, PaulContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
White, Paul WhitfieldContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Greenblatt, Stephen J.Prefácioautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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For many years the study of pre-seventeenth-century English drama was shaped largely by an understanding that everything written revolved around the individual author, either as part of the tradition that prepared the way for Shakespeare or as part of his legacy. Now twenty-five original essays by leading theorists and historians chart a paradigmatic shift within the field. In contrast to the traditional emphasis on individual authors, the contributors here explore the place of the stage within the larger society, as well as issues of performance and physical space. The essays are organized into three sections: "Early English Drama and Physical Space" examines the settings in which plays were acted; "Early English Drama and Social Space" juxtaposes the theater with such contemporary subcultures as the church, the city, and the court. Finally, "Early English Drama and Conditions of Performance and Publication" explores a wide range of material conditions and contexts, from props to printers. A major summary of contemporary scholarship and a storehouse of new theoretical and historical information, A New History of Early English Drama skillfully illustrates the complex influence of physical and social elements woven into the texts, and provides an innovative approach to literary studies and cultural history.

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