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The Ancient World on the Victorian and Edwardian Stage

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

Published

Publication date2009
Place of publicationBasingstoke
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages267
ISBN (Print)9780230229365
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This is the first systematic study of the depictions of the Ancient world on the Victorian and Edwardian stage. It sets out to discover the extent of popular knowledge and understanding of the Ancient World as mediated through the stage. To this end, it analyses plays set in and dramatizing the history of Greece, Rome, Egypt, Babylon and the Holy Land. In so doing, it seeks to locate theatre within the wider culture, tracing its links and interaction with literature, painting, history, religion and archaeology. The plays studied range from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and Coriolanus to spectacular stage melodramas such as Ben-Hur, Quo Vadis and Sign of the Cross, while the actors featured include Sir Henry Irving, Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree and Lillie Langtry.