Lewis Carroll and the Victorian Stage : Theatricals in a Quiet Life book cover
1st Edition

Lewis Carroll and the Victorian Stage
Theatricals in a Quiet Life

ISBN 9780367888305
Published December 12, 2019 by Routledge
240 Pages

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Book Description

Author of the enduringly popular Alice books, mathematician, Anglican cleric, and pioneer photographer, Lewis Carroll maintained a lifelong enthusiasm for the theatre. Lewis Carroll and the Victorian Stage is the first book to focus on Carroll's irresistible fascination with all things theatrical, from childhood charades and marionettes to active involvement in the dramatisation of Alice, influential contributions to the debate on child actors, and the friendship of leading players, especially Ellen Terry. As well as being a key to his complex and enigmatic personality, Carroll's interest in the theatre provides a vivid account of a remarkable era on the stage that encompassed Charles Kean's Shakespeare revivals, the comic genius of Frederick Robson, the heyday of pantomime, Gilbert and Sullivan, opera bouffe, the Terry sisters, Henry Irving, and favourite playwrights Tom Taylor, H. A. Jones, and J. M. Barrie. With attention to the complex motives that compelled Carroll to attend stage performances, Foulkes examines the incomparable record of over forty years as a playgoer that Carroll left for posterity.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Juvenile; Unwillingly to school; Oxford; Alice; Home entertainments; The Terrys; Minors and protégées; Photography; Carroll at the theatre; In conclusion; References; Index.

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Richard Foulkes is Professor of Theatre History at the University of Leicester. He is the author of several books on the Victorian theatre, most recently Church and Stage in Victorian England (1997) and Performing Shakespeare in the Age of Empire (2002). He is also the editor of Shakespeare and the Victorian Stage (1986) and British Theatre in the 1890s: Essays on Drama and the Stage (1992) and General Editor of Publications for the Society for Theatre Research.


’Richard Foulkes’s new book, based on the records of Carroll’s theatre-going, maintains his own superlative standards of detail and general knowledge. Not only does it enhance our knowledge of Carroll’s interests and inspirations, it provides, in passing, fascinating information on marionettes, school plays, stage photography, pantomimes, child performers, and seaside theatre buildings ” a whole panorama of Victorian society at leisure.’ John Stokes, Professor of English, King’s College London 'As a compilation of fact Lewis Carroll and the Victorian Stage is an impressive piece of work... the copious research behind the book has generated a wealth of factual information of direct, indirect or collateral evidence.' Theatre Notebook '... fully researched account of a little-known and important facet of a complex man... a welcome addition to Ashgate's distinguished Nineteenth Century Series of biographical and literary studies, and will doubtless open new avenues of research for Lewis Carroll scholars.' ELT 'There are rewarding flashes of illumination which come as much from Foulkes's sense of detail as from the complex structure of the book. The author therefore succeeds in drawing attention to a new treasure trove...' Theatre Research International '... I have been eagerly awaiting the publication of this comprehensive study of the prominent part played by the Victorian stage in Lewis Carroll's life... and my expectations have been more than fulfilled. Foulkes's exceptional scholarship enables him to establish such convincing connections between previously fragmented and superficially acknowledged facts and data that I have learnt even more from this book than I hoped... worthy to sit on the shelves of all Carrollians and anyone interested in the insight into nineteenth-century theatre that can be derived from a close examination of its reception by one of the most assiduous Victorian playgoers.' Victorian Studies ’... extends and deepens