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The Cambridge History of British Theatre
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  • Cited by 4
  • Volume 2: 1660 to 1895
  • Edited by Joseph Donohue, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
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Book description

Volume 2 of The Cambridge History of British Theatre begins in 1660 with the restoration of King Charles II to the throne and the reestablishment of the professional theatre, interdicted since 1642, and follows the far-reaching development of the form over two centuries and more to 1895. Descriptions of the theatres, actors and actresses, acting companies, dramatists and dramatic genres over the period are augmented by accounts of the audiences, politics and morality, scenography, provincial theatre, theatrical legislation, the long-drawn-out competition of major and minor theatres, and the ultimate revocation of the theatrical monopoly of Drury Lane and Covent Garden, initiating a new era. Chapters on two representative years, 1776 and 1895, are complemented by chapters on two phenomenal productions, The Beggar's Opera and The Bells, as well as by studies of popular theatre, including music hall, sexuality on the Victorian stage and other social and cultural contexts.


'… a set that will stand as the most valuable resource on British theater for some time to come. Essential.'

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'… exceptional … destined to prove one of the most erudite, and yet accessible, resources for theatre scholars and students as well as serious theatre practitioners … must be hailed as perhaps the most carefully compiled and comprehensively covered history ever attempted … I know of no library that has any other theatre history (focusing exclusively on British Theatre) on its shelves to challenge this great new work's pole position in the theatre reference stakes … All in all a great work.'

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  • 4 - Theatre, politics and morality
    pp 90-107
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