Romantic Stages: Set and Costume Design in Victorian England

Romantic Stages: Set and Costume Design in Victorian England

by Alicia Finkel


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Though Romantic elements in stage design are often thought to have ended with the advent of the Victorian era, they in fact persisted into the second half of the nineteenth century. Romantic stages were used in the productions of many of the most prominent actor-managers of the period, including Madame Vestris, Charles Kean, Wilson Barrett, Henry Irving and Herbert Beerbohm Tree.

This work shows how the emphasis placed on the visual elements of Victorian productions-the spectacular romantic settings and historically accurate costumes-revolutionized the position that stage designers held. They emerged from anonymity, becoming recognized and highly-praised collaborators in the creative process.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786402342
Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date: 04/28/1996
Pages: 215
Product dimensions: 6.04(w) x 9.24(h) x 0.69(d)

About the Author

Alicia Finkel has designed sets and costumes for film, television and opera. She taught stage design and costume history at the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Connecticut. Currently she is a trustee at the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry. She lives in Leland, North Carolina.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Preface vii

Introduction 1

1. The First Romantics 3

2. Madame Vestris, James Robinson, Planché and William Beverley: Romanticism, Fantasy, and Spectacle 13

3. Charles Kean and His Designers: A Romance with History 29

4. Wilson Barrett and Edward William Godwin: Another Romantic View of History 61

5. Henry Irving: A Romantic Actor and His Set Designers 81

6. Romantic Swan Song 99

7. Romantic Fairies and Medieval Knights 107

Appendix A: On the Painting of Fairy Scenes and Other Stage Illusions 163

Appendix B: Brief Biographies 173

Notes 183

Select Bibliography 197

Index 383

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