Originally published in 1971. The Victorian Age was one of popular theatre and increasingly popular journalism. One manifestation of this journalism was the emergence of the dramatic critic from the anonymity and brevity which had previously characterized periodical treatment of the theatre. If Victorian theatre is regarded as existing essentially thirty years before Victoria acceded and continuing until the outbreak of war in 1914, the names of Lamb, Leigh Hunt and Hazlitt at one end, and of Beerbohm and MacCarthy at the other, can be added to a list that includes Lewes, James, Archer, Walkley, Shaw and Montague. All these writers, and others less famous, are represented in this selection.
By selecting the articles on the basis of the play in performance, rather than the play as literature, and by arranging them according to various aspects of the theatrical process, this book builds up a skilful and lively picture of the contemporary theatre at work, in the words of its leading commentators. The anthology successfully conveys the qualities of abundance and vitality to characteristic of Victorian theatre.
Table of Contents
Introduction. Biographical Notes Part 1: The Actors Pieces by: William Hazlitt, Leigh Hunt, Charles Lamb, G.H. Lewes, John Forster, Westland Marston, Henry Morley, Joseph Knight, Clement Scott, Henry James, G.B. Shaw, A.B. Walkley, William Archer, Max Beerbohm, C.E. Montague, Desmond MacCarthy Part 2: The Theatres and Audiences Leigh Hunt, William Hazlitt, Charles Lamb, Westland Marston, Henry James, G.B. Shaw, Max Beerbohm Part 3: The Drama i. Melodrama William Hazlitt, G.H. Lewes, Joseph Knight, Dutton Cook, William Archer, G.B. Shaw, J.T. Grein, Max Beerbohm ii. Society Drama A.B Walkley, William Archer, G.B. Shaw, J.T. Grein, Max Beerbohm iii. Comedy Charles Lamb, G.H. Lewes, Dutton Cook, Joseph Knight, William Archer, J.T. Grein, Max Beerbohm iv. The Coming of Ibsen Wiliam Archer, A. B. Walkley, Clement Scott, G.B. Shaw v. Shaw and the New Drama William Archer, Max Beerbohm, J.T. Grein, Desmond MacCarthy, A.B Walkley Part 4: Pantomime and Music Hall G.B. Shaw, Max Beerbohm Part 5: The Critic on His Craft Leigh Hunt, G.H. Lewes, A.B. Walkley, Desmond MacCarthy
George Rowell lectured in drama at Bristol University, UK