The purpose of this absorbing collection is to illuminate the world of the theatre by setting it squarely in its historical context. To that end, Professor Evans draws on the whole spectrum of Elizabethan-Jacobean writing, from official documents to diaries and letters. Part I, The Theatre and the World, deals, through contemporary writings, with the drama itself, the audiences and their responses, theatrical companies, acting and actors, and buildings and technical matters. Part II, The Worlds and the Theatre, illustrates how the problems of everyday life, complicated as they were by moral, religious, social, political, and economic issues, provided an ever-fruitful source of materials to the dramatists who practiced their craft during this extraordinarily creative period.
Selections and excerpts from contemporary writings relate the place of theater in society and various aspects of life drawn on by dramatists for their plays. Extensive notes clarify idioms and topical allusions. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)