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Drama and Politics in the English Civil War

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Overview

In 1642 an ordinance closed the theatres of England. Critics and historians have assumed that the edict was to be firm and inviolate. Susan Wiseman challenges this assumption and argues that the period 1640 to 1660 was not a gap in the production and performance of drama. Rather, throughout the period writers focused instead on a range of dramas with political perspectives, from republican to royalist. In analysing the diverse forms of dramatic production of the 1640s and 1650s, Wiseman offers new insights into the theatre of the Civil War.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Susan Wiseman examines a neglected body of dramatic literature and exposes the fraility of the presumption of a sharp break between the Caroline and Restoration dramatic traditions." Bryon Nelson, Theatre Journal

"In this interesting study, Wiseman...argues that Parliament's 1642 edict to close the theaters was not primarily a measure of moral reform, but rather an attempt to suppress controversy and an appeal to public support in a time of political crisis. Graduate students; researchers; faculty." Choice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521032452
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 316
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrations
A note on texts and list of abbreviations
Acknowledgements
Preface
Introduction: how the drama disappeared 1
Pt. I 1642-1649: Cases in Politics and Drama
1 New news for a new world? Genre, politics and the news dialogues of the 1640s 19
2 'With the agreement of the people in their hands': transformations of 'radical' drama in the 1640s 40
3 Royalist versus republican ethics and aesthetics: The Famous Tragedie of Charles I and The Tragedy of the Famous Orator Marcus Tullius Cicero 62
Interchapter. 'The life of action': playing, action and discourse on performance in the 1640s 81
Pt. II The 1650s: Protectorate, Politics and Performance
4 Gender and status in dramatic discourse: Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle 91
5 Royal or reformed? The politics of court entertainment in translation and performance 114
6 National identity, topic and genre in Davenant's Protectorate opera 137
7 Genre, politics and place: the social body in the dramatic career of John Tatham 165
8 True and loyal? Politics and genre in Civil War and Protectorate tragicomedy 190
Coda 216
Notes 220
Select bibliography 262
Index 290
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