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Harley Granville Barker : a preface to modern Shakespeare /
Christine Dymkowski.
Washington : Folger Shakespeare Library ; London : Associated University Presses, c1986.
240 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
0918016827 (alk. paper)
More Details
Washington : Folger Shakespeare Library ; London : Associated University Presses, c1986.
0918016827 (alk. paper)
general note
"Folger Books."
Includes index.
Originally presented as the author's thesis (doctoral--University of Virginia).
catalogue key
Bibliography: p. 228-236.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1986-11:
A clear, scholarly, well-illustrated contribution to the history of Shakespearean production. Other theater practitioners and critics have credited Barker with modern innovations in staging Shakespeare, but this study is unique in using Barker's Savoy Theatre productions of 1912 to 1914 (The Winter's Tale, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Twelfth Night) and his published prefaces as a preliminary to a careful examination of his staging of King Lear for John Gielgud's 1940 production. Although Barker refused credit for directing the production and at Barker's insistence Hallam Fordham's record of his contribution (a Folger Library typescript) was never published, Dymkowski establishes with admirable precision which production elements were the result of Barker's supervision. William Poel, Herbert Beerbohm Tree, and Gordon Craig receive credit as his predecessors in modern staging, but it was Barker who put into practice the theatricality of the uncut text, broke the proscenium arch,visualized thematic echoes in related plots, and rethought secondary characters. One third of the book documents the Gielgud Lear. Barker's changes of mind and unsuccessful choices are pointed out, yet negate neither the brilliance of Barker's approach nor its impact upon productions up to the present. More than 40 photographs, those of Lear especially instructive, add great value to this superbly annotated and readable study. For students and general readers.-J.E. Gates, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, November 1986
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Unpaid Annotation
The first comprehensive study of Barker's critical and practical work on Shakespeare, setting it in the context of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Shakespearean production. Illustrated.

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