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Time and the visual sense were two essential preoccupations of the Victorians, and both were central to their presentations of Shakespeare's plays. In this extensive new study, Stuart Sillars examines multiple facets of this complex relationship. The desire for authenticity in production, in the work of Charles Kean and his followers, leads to elaborate sets that define and direct the performances' movement through time. Visual artists of all kinds fracture and extend the plays' movements, the Pre-Raphaelites through new techniques and approaches, illustrators through new forms of engraving and printing, and photographers through the emerging forms of the medium. The book also considers the multiple forms in which performances were recorded and re-created visually, and absorbed into the memories of their viewers. With many previously unpublished images, it draws together multiple fields to offer a new perspective on one of the most productive and various periods of Shakespeare activity.Read more
- Explores the configuration of time in Shakespeare's plays through paintings, illustrations and staging in the Victorian period, increasing awareness of these forms and enhancing their critical and interpretive potential
- Investigates the work of Charles Kean through ideas of history and Shakespearean production, presenting a fresh perspective
- Complements and extends Stuart Sillars' previous works - Painting Shakespeare: The Artist as Critic, 1720–1820 and The Illustrated Shakespeare, 1709–1875
Reviews & endorsements
"Stuart Sillars has assembled an exhilarating gallery of Shakespearean images as these featured on the nineteenth-century stage, as well as on canvas and in print. This richly illustrated book offers new insights into Victorian cultural history, as Shakespeare the chronicler of the past morphs into Shakespeare the timeless moralist, even when this occurs at the expense of Shakespeare the dramatist. Sillars treat his sometimes recalcitrant material with respect. It is a particular pleasure to see painters like Daniel Maclise and the Pre-Raphaelites taken seriously. Specialists in art and theatre history will revel in the range and scholarship of this engaging analysis."
Catherine Belsey, Swansea UniversitySee more reviews
"Sillars' treatment of Victorian Shakespeare is visually compelling and intellectually rewarding."
"If you want to know anything about Shakespeare and the visual arts then Stuart Stills is your man."
"… a handsomely illustrated volume that complements his previous studies …"
Recent Studies in the Nineteenth century
"Sillars’ focus remains predominantly aesthetic, and he is unquestionably a master of the form … Few scholars can match Sillars for his close readings of how images disclose themselves to viewers … Every reader stands to profit from the author’s exemplary understanding of how images work in themselves and how they work upon those who look at them."
"It will remain an outstanding contribution to this field for many years to come … an outstanding book on one significant element within Victorian culture."
J. B. Bullen, Memori Di Shakespeare
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- Date Published: February 2012
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9780521509695
- length: 384 pages
- dimensions: 254 x 200 x 30 mm
- weight: 1.3kg
- contains: 120 b/w illus. 70 colour illus.
- availability: Temporarily unavailable - available from September 2019
Table of Contents
1. History, theatre and Shakespeare
2. Dress, attribute and image
3. Pre-Raphaelite Meridian
4. Charles Kean, staging and time
5. Memorialising performance
6. Ars et Veritas: photography and the Victorian stage
7. Fragmentation, excision and dispersal
8. Painting beyond Pre-Raphaelitism
9. Later stagings and the debate with painting
10. Encounters and memories
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