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This unique volume brings together four of Molière’s greatest verse comedies covering the best years of his prolific writing career. Actor, director, and playwright, Molière (1622-73) was one of the finest and most influential French dramatists, adept at portraying human foibles and puncturing pomposity. The School for Wives was his first great success; Tartuffe, condemned and banned for five years, his most controversial play. The Misanthrope is his acknowledged masterpiece, and The Clever Women his last, and perhaps best-constructed, verse piece.
When one thinks of American Drama, names like Eugene O’Neill, Arthur Miller, and Tennessee Williams readily come to mind. However, as The Oxford Handbook of American Drama shows, the U.S. has a deep and varied tradition that extends back to the years before the Revolutionary War. The essays gathered here trace U.S dramatic history, ranging from plays by Mercy Otis Warren to Tony Kushner. The volume opens with an exploration of the trials and tribulations of strolling players in the colonial era, before shifting to a discussion of the ways plays were deployed for political ends during the Revolution, most notably by the patriot Mercy Otis Warren.
Marriage features to a greater or lesser extent in virtually every play Shakespeare wrote – as the festive end of comedy, as the link across the cycles of the history plays, as a marker of the difference between his own society and that depicted in the Roman plays, and, all too often, as the starting-point for the tragedies. Situating his representations of marriage firmly within the ideologies and practices of Renaissance culture, Lisa Hopkins argues that Shakespeare anatomises marriage much as he does kingship, and finds it similarly indispensable to the underpinning of society, however problematic it may be as a guarantor of personal happiness.
Examining the Victorian serial as a text in its own right, Catherine Delafield re-reads five novels by Elizabeth Gaskell, Anthony Trollope, Dinah Craik and Wilkie Collins by situating them in the context of periodical publication. She traces the roles of the author and editor in the creation and dissemination of the texts and considers how first publication affected the consumption and reception of the novel through the periodical medium. Delafield contends that a novel in volume form has been separated from its original context, that is, from the pattern of consumption and reception presented by the serial.
Agatha Christie is revered around the world for her books and the indelible characters she created. Lesser known is her writing for the stage—an extraordinary repertoire of plays that firmly established her as the most successful female dramatist of all time. Now author Julius Green raises the curtain on Christie’s towering contribution to popular theatre, an element of her work previously disregarded by biographers and historians.Starting with her childhood theatregoing experiences, Curtain Up uncovers Christie’s first serious attempts at playwriting, with scripts that reveal a very different style from the now familiar whodunits for which she became famous.
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