Catalogue


The making of Victorian drama /
Anthony Jenkins.
imprint
Cambridge [England] ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1991.
description
xi, 301 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0521402050 (hardback)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Cambridge [England] ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1991.
isbn
0521402050 (hardback)
catalogue key
226441
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 265-289) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1992-06:
The playwright, the "last to win respect and independence" in the spectacular, star-driven world of Victorian theater, is the focus of this study which provides an account of theater's "social transformation." Although this ground bears the footprints of George Rowell and others, Jenkins (University of Victoria, BC) nevertheless provides a healthy walking tour through the work of seven playwrights: Bulwer, Robertson, Gilbert, Jones, Pinero, Wilde, and Shaw. Jenkins argues that all seven were, variously and sometimes complexly, creating a "theatre of ideas." The argument is most sound, if least inventive, in discussions of Jones, Pinero, and Shaw. Yet even Bulwer's florid dramas benefit from analysis in their literary and cultural contexts. Jenkins's thoroughness (Wilde's The Duchess of Padua!) is worthy. Some readers might long fitfully for a study more deeply informed by contemporary theory; nevertheless they will find close readings that range from responsible to acute: the analysis of Pinero's The Second Mrs. Tanquery, for example, is worth the price of admission. For advanced undergraduates and for graduate students reading in drama, literature, and popular culture.-B. Kalikoff, University of Puget Sound
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, June 1992
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Summaries
Main Description
In this book Anthony Jenkins examines seven Victorian playwrights who, despite their own ideals and prejudices and the theatre's conservatism, tried to come to terms with such momentous subjects as womanliness, honour and money. The opening chapter sets the frame of reference that briefly describes the social transformation of theatre during the century and the increasing respectability of actors and playhouses. Subsequent chapters deal with the drama of Edward Bulwer, Tom Robertson, W. S. Gilbert, H. A. Jones, Arthur Pinero, Oscar Wilde, and Bernard Shaw. Each of these dramatists sought to create a theatre of ideas according to his own vision of art and society. Their work confronts and interprets the limitations of an idealized theatre, the portrayal of character, the sanctity of marriage, and the charade of social hypocrisy. The plays are examined within the social and political context of the Reform Bill, the Revolution of 1848, the Great Exhibition, royal patronage, censorship and copyright, and, above all, the 'Woman Question'. Jenkins combines politics and theatrical history with literary criticism to shed provocative light on the struggle to relate the London theatre to the realities of Victorian England. The book contains illustrations from the period and will be of interest to students and scholars of theatre history, English literature and social history, and women's studies.
Main Description
In this book Anthony Jenkins examines seven Victorian playwrights who, despite their own ideals and prejudices and the theatre's conservatism, tried to come to terms with such momentous subjects as womanliness, honour and money. The opening chapter briefly describes the social transformation of theatre during the century and the increasing respectability of actors and playhouses. Subsequent chapters deal with the drama of Edward Bulwer, Tom Robertson, W. S. Gilbert, H. A. Jones, Arthur Pinero, Oscar Wilde and Bernard Shaw. Each of these dramatists sought to create a theatre of ideas according to his own vision of art and society. The plays are examined within the social and political context of the Reform Bill, the Revolution of 1848, the Great Exhibition, royal patronage, censorship and copyright, and, above all, the 'Woman Question'. Jenkins combines politics and theatrical history with literary criticism to shed provocative light on the struggle to relate the London theatre to the realities of Victorian England.
Description for Library
In this book Anthony Jenkins examines seven Victorian playwrights who, despite their own ideals and prejudices and the theatre's conservatism, tried to come to terms with such momentous subjects as womanliness, honour and money. Through his analysis, Jenkins explores the drama of Edward Bulwer, Tom Robertson, W. S. Gilbert, H. A. Jones, Arthur Pinero, Oscar Wilde and Bernard Shaw. Jenkins combines politics and theatrical history with literary criticism to shed provocative light on the struggle to relate the London theatre to the realities of Victorian England.
Description for Bookstore
The drama of Edward Bulwer, Tom Robertson, W. S. Gilbert, W. A. Jones, Arthur Pinero, Oscar Wilde and Bernard Shaw, examined in social and political context. This book will be of interest to students and scholars of theatre history, English literature and social history, and women's studies.
Table of Contents
List of illustrations
Acknowledgements
Breaking through the darkness
The grandeur of Nature
Domestic and commonplace
Critics of the hearth
Terrible leanings towards respectability
Shades of goodness
A middle-class education
Vigilant open-mindedness
Notes
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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