Download e-book for kindle: The Profession of the Playwright: British Theatre, 1800-1900 by John Russell Stephens
By John Russell Stephens
This can be the 1st ebook to check the operating international of the playwright in nineteenth-century Britain. It used to be frequently a dicy and financially doubtful occupation, but the magic of the theater attracted authors from greatly diverse backgrounds--journalists, attorneys, churchmen, civil servants, printers, and actors, in addition to popular poets and novelists. In a desirable account of the frustrations and the rewards of dramatic authorship, Stephens uncovers clean info at the playwright's profits, relationships with actors, managers, publishers, and viewers, and provides a brand new standpoint on his growing to be prestige as a qualified. extra chapters concentrate on the fight for copyright reform and the complexities of dramatic publishing. plenty of significant and minor authors are mentioned, between them Planché, Fitzball, Boucicault, Pinero, Grundy, Gilbert, Jones, and Shaw.
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Extra info for The Profession of the Playwright: British Theatre, 1800-1900
Inchbald represents the rather more cautious author, who carefully prepared the ground of her dramatic career. Not until June 1789, by which time she had had nine plays staged in five years and was about to produce another, could she judge it safe to relinquish her small but regular income as an actress and become a full-time dramatist (with occasional excursions into the novel). But the professional dramatist was in keen demand at the turn of the century for all kinds of related functions. Mrs Inchbald and Tom Dibdin both had relatively lucrative editing assignments for series of dramatic texts published by Longmans and Charles Whittingham respectively;35 and Dibdin went on to stage and theatre management, at first for the patent theatres and then on his own account.
H. Payne's AH Pasha (1822) to £20 for changes to the same author's Clari (1823). Planche was also receiving continuing payments on revived pieces. 35 The benchmark of dramatic literature was still the full-length tragedy. Encouragement of the genre under increasingly difficult circumstances was the patent theatres' best defence against attack by the minors. But it is apparent that in the 1820s authors of tragedy had a difficult time of it — more difficult indeed than perhaps any other class of dramatic writing — because the majority were forced into contracts which cut the accepted standard remuneration for tragedy by as much as a half.
Wills and Herman Vezin, might mix with such notables as Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Morris, Ford Madox Brown, and A. C. Swinburne. As newcomers to wealth and influence, the Boucicaults, for a couple of years until the profits of The Colleen Bawn ran out, also wined and dined literary and dramatic society on a grand scale at their spacious mansion in the Brompton Road in the early 1860s. The majority of the best-known nineteenth-century dramatists were connected to the mainstream of literary life; but the proliferation of Bohemian clubs, coteries, and societies, especially in the middle and later Victorian period, helped to promote more ready contact with men of all professions and callings.
The Profession of the Playwright: British Theatre, 1800-1900 by John Russell Stephens