Drama and Politics in the English Civil War

Drama and Politics in the English Civil War

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Susan Wiseman
Cambridge University Press
Edition: 1st Edition, 4/9/1998
EAN 9780521472210, ISBN10: 0521472210

Hardcover, 316 pages, 23.6 x 15.9 x 2.4 cm
Language: English

In 1642 an ordinance closed the theatres of England. Critics and historians have assumed that the edict was to be firm and inviolate. Susan Wiseman challenges this assumption and argues that the period 1640 to 1660 was not a gap in the production and performance of drama nor a blank space between 'Renaissance drama' and the 'Restoration stage'. Rather, throughout the period, writers focused instead on a range of dramas with political perspectives, from republican to royalist. This group included the short pamphlet dramas of the 1640s and the texts produced by the writers of the 1650s, such as William Davenant, Margaret Cavendish and James Shirley. In analysing the diverse forms of dramatic production of the 1640s and 1650s, Wiseman reveals the political and generic diversity produced by the changes in dramatic production, and offers insights into the theatre of the Civil War.

List of illustrations
A note on texts and list of abbreviations
how the drama disappeared
Part I. 1642–1649
Cases in Politics and Drama
1. New news for a new world? Genre, politics and the news dialogues of the 1640s
2. 'With the agreement of the people in their hands'
transformations of 'radical' drama in the 1640s
3. Royalist versus republican ethics and aesthetics
The Famous Tragedie of Charles I and The Tragedy of the Famous Orator Marcus Tullius Cicero
'The Life of Action'
playing, action and discourse on performance in the 1640s
Part II. The 1650s
Protectorate, Politics and Performance
4. Gender and status in dramatic discourse
Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle
5. Royal or reformed? The politics of court entertainment in translation and performance
6. National identity, topic and genre in Davenant's Protectorate opera
7. Genre, politics and place
the social body in the dramatic career of John Tatham
8. True and loyal? Politics and genre in Civil War and Protectorate tragicomedy
Select bibliography