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The Profession of the Playwright
British Theatre, 1800–1900

$36.99 (C)

  • Date Published: December 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521034432

$ 36.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • This is the first book to examine the working world of the playwright in nineteenth-century Britain. It was often a risky and financially uncertain profession, yet the magic of the theater attracted authors from widely different backgrounds--journalists, lawyers, churchmen, civil servants, printers, and actors, as well as prominent poets and novelists. In a fascinating account of the frustrations and the rewards of dramatic authorship, Stephens uncovers fresh information on the playwright's earnings, relationships with actors, managers, publishers, and audience, and offers a new perspective on his growing status as a professional. Further chapters focus on the struggle for copyright reform and the complexities of dramatic publishing. A large number of major and minor authors are discussed, among them Planché, Fitzball, Boucicault, Pinero, Grundy, Gilbert, Jones, and Shaw.

    • Examines the working world of the playwright
    • Includes information on professional status of playwright, earnings, relationships with actors, managers and publishers
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Stephens's scholarship is outstanding, and his style is urbane and witty. His book is a delight to read." Albion

    "From its lucid introduction to its excellent indexes, this is a fine addition to literary scholarship and history." Magill's Literary Annual

    "...Stephens has produced another will-researched, well-sritten book on the Victorian stage." John W. Stedman, Victorian Periodicals Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2006
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521034432
    • length: 276 pages
    • dimensions: 215 x 138 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.353kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of abbreviations
    1. The smell of lamps and orange peel
    2. 'A devil of a trade'
    3. The profit-sharing revolution
    4. Piracy and the defence of dramatic property
    5. Booksellers and dramatic publishing
    6. From wings to centre stage
    7. The new professionals
    Index of plays and playwrights
    General index.

  • Author

    John Russell Stephens

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