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Download A History of English Drama 1660-1900: Volume 4, Early by Allardyce Nicoll PDF

By Allardyce Nicoll

Allardyce Nicoll's historical past of English Drama, 1660-1900 was once a huge scholarly fulfillment and the paintings of 1 guy. Nicoll's heritage, which tells the tale of English drama from the reopening of the theatres on the time of the recovery all through to the top of the Victorian interval, used to be considered by means of Notes and Queries (1952) as 'a nice paintings of exploration, a close advisor to the untrodden acres of our dramatic historical past, hitherto mostly overlooked as barren and without interest'. The background is reissued in seven paperback volumes, to be had individually and as a collection. In volumes 1-5 Nicoll describes the stipulations of the degree, actors and bosses in addition to dramatic genres. The 6th and 7th volumes supply a entire record of all of the performs identified to were produced or revealed in England among 1660 and 1930, with their authors and replacement titles; it has hence self sufficient price in addition to delivering an index to the sooner volumes.

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Acted in plain evening dress " rather than performed in the Augustan modes of the past age, and that the close of this period saw the production of The Tamt"ng of the Shrew, in a modified " Elizabethan " setting, the actors playing against curtains and title-boards1• For the moment, however, Shakespeare in modem dress is but a fanciful dream and Elizabethan staging only a peculiar experiment ; the period is dominated by the desire for histori­ cal accuracy and splendour. i 1 846), " the Amazonian Guards of the Princess " have to be " dressed and armed .

Z 1842), tacked on to it a prologue, but its wording shows clearly that it was an unusual performance : The good old custom of an elder day, When Prologue raised the curtain to the play, And sprightly Epilogue came tittering after, To draw it down again with roars of laughter, Has been abandoned in this railroad age, That you might steam more quickly o'er the stage. Nearly two decades before Bell's time, George Croly had voted the prologue a horrid great bore Half a puff for the House, half a rant for the Nation ; In short,-'tis-a Prologue.

Cit. i. 5. 1 On this subject see G. C. D. Odell, Shakespeare from Betterton to Irving (1921), ii. 1 57, and E. B. Watson, op. cit. pp. 92-5. ' At the Olympic in 1815. T H E THEATRE 35 and then, later, the new form of lighting was carried to the stage1• Complaints were made regarding the danger, the odour and the colour of this illuminant, but, once managers realised the ease with which the gas-taps could be manipulated, there was opened up the possibility of great scenic advance ; gas had come to remain until its later rival, electricity, disestablished it in our own times.

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