Lost Plays in Shakespeare's England

Lost Plays in Shakespeare's England

by D. McInnis
     
 

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Lost Plays in Shakespeare's England examines assumptions about what a lost play is and how it can be talked about; how lost plays can be reconstructed, particularly when they use narratives already familiar to playgoers; and how lost plays can force us to reassess extant plays, particularly through ideas of repertory studies.

Overview

Lost Plays in Shakespeare's England examines assumptions about what a lost play is and how it can be talked about; how lost plays can be reconstructed, particularly when they use narratives already familiar to playgoers; and how lost plays can force us to reassess extant plays, particularly through ideas of repertory studies.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"There is a joy here in discovery of the new that pervades this lively and genuinely innovative volume. Its key value is in the theorizing of speculative methodology, but the individual contributions are an important reminder that an absence of a playbook need not mean a total absence of knowledge." Peter Kirwan, The Review of English Studies

"Lost Plays in Shakespeare's England testifies to the growing interest in this once neglected field of theatrical history While such forays may often seem individually to represent quite small and insignificant discoveries, the collective effort to identify the lost plays of early modern England is beginning significantly to reshape our view of the theatrical landscape in the age of Shakespeare, forcing a necessary revision of earlier assessments of popular taste, repertory behaviour, and dramatic composition." Ian Donaldson, Australian Book Review

"One of the pleasures of this season is Lost Plays in Shakespeare's England, edited by David McInnis and Matthew Steggle. The editors observe that there are about 543 extant commercial plays from the early modern English theater, about 744 known plays that are now lost, and perhaps another 1,800 unknown plays that do not survive even in name. How can we think about this invisible corpus? How did such plays develop themes (for example, Arthurian or Trojan matter) that remain visible in the surviving canon? How can we taxonomize them, extrapolate from known to unknown, and recognize what is lost even in those plays that survive? Perhaps most striking, what if the missing plays are more representative of the age than what remains? These are the kinds of questions entertained by McInnis and Steggle's contributors, and I cannot conceive of a scholar in the broader field who would not be engrossed by them." Roland Greene, SEL Studies in English Literature 1500-1900

"The first book on its topic, Lost Plays in Shakespeare's England is a major achievement: it defines a new field and gives it a shape, a nature and a range of critical approaches... All the essays provide new ways of approaching lost information and theorizing "lostness"... [The book] shows how thinking about what is lost forces us to rethink what is "found". It also strikes a salutary note. Many extant plays existed in other, variant, versions that are also lost, for "lostness is a continuum", as McInnis and Steggle show. By the end of the book, we have thrillingly recovered moments, instances, stories, characters and tendencies from lost plays, but at the expense of what we thought we had: existing plays, we realise, are a little bit lost, too." Tiffany Stern, Times Literary Supplement

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781137403964
Publisher:
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Publication date:
10/10/2014
Series:
Early Modern Literature in History Series
Edition description:
2014
Pages:
295
Product dimensions:
5.51(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.04(d)

Meet the Author

John H. Astington, University of Toronto, Canada
Andrew Gurr, University of Reading, UK
Michael J. Hirrel, independent scholar, USA
Roslyn L. Knutson, University of Arkansas, USA
Lawrence Manley, Yale University, USA
Christopher Matusiak, Ithaca College, New York, USA
David McInnis, University of Melbourne, Australia
Christi Spain-Savage, Fordham University, USA
Matthew Steggle, Sheffield Hallam University, UK
Misha Teramura, Harvard University, USA
Paul Whitfield White, Purdue University, USA
Martin Wiggins, University of Birmingham, UK
William Proctor Williams, University of Akron, USA

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