By Allardyce Nicoll
Allardyce Nicoll's heritage of English Drama, 1660-1900 used to be a huge scholarly success and the paintings of 1 guy. Nicoll's background, which tells the tale of English drama from the reopening of the theatres on the time of the recovery all through to the tip of the Victorian interval, used to be considered by way of Notes and Queries (1952) as 'a nice paintings of exploration, an in depth consultant to the untrodden acres of our dramatic background, hitherto mostly overlooked as barren and without interest'. The background is reissued in seven paperback volumes, to be had individually and as a collection. In volumes 1-5 Nicoll describes the stipulations of the level, actors and bosses in addition to dramatic genres. The 6th and 7th volumes supply a accomplished record of all of the performs recognized to were produced or published in England among 1660 and 1930, with their authors and substitute titles; it has hence autonomous worth in addition to supplying an index to the sooner volumes.
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Extra info for A History of English Drama 1660-1900: Volume 4, Early Nineteenth Century Drama 1800-1850
74, and supra, p. 39, 2 8 Note on the Costumes. Bill of Monday, April 2. T H E THEATRE 43 May 28 the bills altered their wording for the purpose of drawing attention to the real ships of 1 00 , 74, and 60 guns, &c. built, rigged, and manceuvred in the most correct manner, as every nautical character who has seen them implicitly allows, which work down with the wind on their starboard beam, wear and haul the wind on their larboard tacks, to regain their situations, never attempted at any Theatre in this or any other country : the ships firing their broadsides, the conflagration of the town in various places, the defence of the garrison, and attack by the floating batteries, is so faithfully and naturally represented, that when the floating batteries take fire, some blowing up with a dreadful explosion, and others, after burning to the water's edge, sink to the bottom ; while the gallant Sir Roger Curtis appears in his boat to save the drowning Spaniards, the British tars for that purpose plunging into the water, the effect is such as to produce an unprecedented climax of astonishment and applause.
We need not stop to argue that Kemble's " accuracy " was often exceedingly inaccurate ; the important point is 1 Feb. 10, 1834. 1 Id. March 5, 1841. T H E THEATRE 39 that his aim was in the direction of later effort. In achieve ment he may have failed, but the lordly mantle he wore was assumed by all his successors. Macready, perhaps with not such whole-hearted enthusiasm but at least dominated by popular predilections, continued in the same path, and the task was brought to completion in the very midst of the century by Charles Kean, who, almost more of an archreologist than an actor, ransacked every available " authority " for materials on which to work.
3 R. B. Peake, op. cit. ii. 363 . • The Dramatic Magazine ( 1829), p. 19. 2 Op. cit. iii. I I I. 30 T H E T H EATRE the end o f [his] tragedies, to give out the play fo r the ensuing night1• So, too, died slowly the convention of the prologue. z 1842), tacked on to it a prologue, but its wording shows clearly that it was an unusual performance : The good old custom of an elder day, When Prologue raised the curtain to the play, And sprightly Epilogue came tittering after, To draw it down again with roars of laughter, Has been abandoned in this railroad age, That you might steam more quickly o'er the stage.
A History of English Drama 1660-1900: Volume 4, Early Nineteenth Century Drama 1800-1850 by Allardyce Nicoll