W.B.Yeats and George Yeats The Letters
Oxford University Press, 2011
During the twenty-two years of their married life, W. B. and George Yeats corresponded regularly and fully whenever they were apart. They discussed his writing and other projects, their family and friends, and the social, artistic, and political scene in Ireland and the United Kingdom in far more detail than with anyone else. Both were splendid and enchanting storytellers. The letters include fascinating drafts of poems, statements of belief, candid descriptions of people and events, and in some cases offer biographical and historical corrections to the popular narrative of Yeats's life. And not for nothing would he write to his wife, 'you are much the best letter writer I know, or have known'. The letters between them not only tell the story of the marriage of two minds and the world they created, but also illuminate how Yeats worked on his writing and reveal a refreshing image of the poet as a family man.
"These letters, scrupulously edited and richly and exhaustively annotated, do offer, as Saddlemyer maintains, 'a story of the marriage of two minds and the world they created'. They also provide a fresh perspective on the personality of a loving, funny, altogether marvellous and, above all, tolerant woman." --John Banville, The Oldie
"The letters are brilliantly annotated by Ann Saddlemyer." --Roy F. Foster, Sunday Business Post
"Allows us to witness the complexities of life and art entwined...Saddlemyer is a meticulous scholar of a kind now increasingly rare... Unlike most meticulous editors, however, Saddlemyer is also an elegant writer with a keen sense of proportion." --James Longenbach, The Nation
Becoming George - The Life of Mrs W.B.Yeats
Oxford University Press, 2002; paperback ed. 2003
This is the first full biography of George Yeats. With the generous co-operation of the family, her friends, and Yeats scholars throughout the world, it draws upon hitherto unpublished material and other documents to establish the role this remarkably intelligent and extraordinarily knowledgeable woman played in her husband's life and work. For six years before her marriage Georgie Hyde Lees was a serious student of the occult and medieval philosophy, knowledge which led to the automatic writing that formed a basis for A Vision and most of Yeats's later writings. In addition she worked closely with the Dublin Drama League, for a number of years ran the embroidery section of Cuala, and then on the death of her husband and his sister Elizabeth became editor and publisher of the Cuala Press. A discriminating critic and accomplished linguist who was far more familiar with contemporary European literature than her husband, she numbered among her close friends the playwright Lennox Robinson, the poet and art critic Thomas MacGreevy, the short story writer Frank O'Connor, and the young poet John Montague. Ezra Pound and the musicians Jelly d'Aranyi and Walter Rummel, were close friends throughout her life.
After Yeats's death she was in sole charge of his work and manuscripts, for thirty years knowledgeably steering the 'Yeats industry' through her advice and assistance to such critics as Ellmann, Jeffares, Bradford, Virginia Moore and a host of younger scholars.
Later Stages: Essays on Ontario Theatre from World War I to the 1970s
(with Richard Plant)
University of Toronto Press, 1997
This book is the final volume in the OHHS series, and the second volume in the first comprehensive history of theatre in Ontario, both edited by Ann Saddlemyer.
J. M. Synge The Playboy of the Western World and Other Plays
Oxford University Press, 1995 (World's Classics Series)213
A volume in the Oxford World Classics Drama series, freshly edited with critical introduction, wide-ranging notation and bibliography.
and Elaine Freedgood, eds.Denotatively, Technically, Literally
University of California Press, 2014
Denotative, literal, and technical language—apparently transparent and lacking in resonance—seems to be the opposite of literary language. A vigorous reading of the former, this special issue of Representations argues, should seek to realize its opacity and difficulty, its nonidentity with itself. To do so requires a revised and expanded sense of denotation, a rethinking of reference, the dereification of writing, an appeal to more expansive and heterodox archives, a historicism that forestalls or delays the figural, and more reading. Unlike recent literary critical attempts to restrict the field of reading, the practices sketched here seek to remove all limits to that which can be read, researched, and made into meaning. Contributors include Schmitt, Freedgood, Rachel Sagner Buurma, Margaret Cohen, Ian Duncan, and Laura Heffernan.
Cannon SchmittDarwin and the Memory of the Human: Evolution, Savages, and South America
Cambridge University Press, 2009
When the young Charles Darwin landed on the shores of Tierra del Fuego in 1832, he was overwhelmed: nothing had prepared him for the sight of what he called "an untamed savage." The shock he felt, repeatedly recalled in later years, definitively shaped his theory of evolution. In this study, I show how Darwin and other Victorian naturalists transformed such encounters with South America and its indigenous peoples into influential accounts of biological and historical change. Redefining what it means to be human, they argue that the modern self must be understood in relation to a variety of pasts--personal, historical, and ancestral--conceived of as savage. Darwin and the Memory of the Human reshapes our understanding of Victorian imperialism, revisits the implications of Darwinian theory, and demonstrates the pertinence of nineteenth-century biological thought to current theorizations of memory.Reviews:
“This is a brilliant, original, often difficult, but ultimately satisfying book. It is also very ambitious, for it sets out, by focusing on South America as an object of European travels and voyage narratives, to analyze and indeed reconstruct the construction, or ‘invention,’ as Schmitt puts it, of ‘the human as natural.’ . . . The payoff emerges from the strength of the argument, the ultimately moving engagement with the subject, the freshness of the material considered, and the unequivocally brilliant analyses of language that mark every chapter.”
— George Levine, NBOL-19 http://www.nbol-19.org/view_doc.php?index=51
“Darwin and the Memory of the Human: Evolution, Savages, and South America
is a beautifully written, elegantly conceived contribution to the study of nineteenth-century evolutionary theory’s cultural implications. . . . [The book is] radically different from any other scholarly work I know. It gives new meaning to the term ‘literary criticism’ by making its literariness part of its critical method. The incantatory beauty of Schmitt’s prose is not an incidental feature, a decorative belle-lettrism. Rather it is designed to re-represent the lost savage Victorians, to make them alive in us again, as we read Schmitt who . . . calls forth the ways of dwelling in the lost past that makes such continuing presence possible.”
— Kathy Alexis Psomiades, Criticism http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/criticism/summary/v052/52.1.psomiades.html
and Nancy Henry, eds.Victorian Investments: New Perspectives on Finance and Culture
Indiana University Press, 2008
The watchword of this volume in its entirety is transformation. Rapid changes in Victorian financial markets and investment practices reflected and influenced broader social changes: political and moral reform, the struggle for women’s rights, the growth of empire. The Victorians developed new kinds of financial writing in a flourishing press as well as in manuals, advice books, advertising, and novels; new knowledge was produced and consumed by a growing number of readers--shareholders and non-shareholders alike. Impossible any longer to consider as a thing apart, investment cut across all aspects of life: the financial sphere overlapped with the domestic sphere, overseas expansion promised to fund comfortable retirement, speculation rewrote the plots and themes of Victorian fiction and reshaped its form. Victorian Investments bears witness to such transformations even as it manifests a corresponding transformation in critical approaches to studying and understanding the multiple and complex intersections between culture and high finance. Contributors include Timothy Alborn, Ian Baucom, Martin Daunton, Nancy Henry, David C. Itzkowitz, Audrey Jaffe, Donna Loftus, Mary Poovey, George Robb, and Cannon Schmitt.
Cannon SchmittAlien Nation: Nineteenth-Century Gothic Fictions and English Nationality
University of Pennsylvania Press, 1997
Alien Nation reads the Gothic as a genre that encapsulates a powerful and enduring cultural narrative for nineteenth-century Britain. Gothic fictions depend for their effects upon varieties of estrangement, from the breakdown of communication between genders and classes to the baffled efforts of modernity to make sense of its own feudal past. While no single thread unites these orders of misunderstanding, I argue that nationality organizes much of what is characteristically Gothic. “Nation” here carries a double valence. On one hand, Gothics--both classics of the genre, such as Ann Radcliffe’s The Italian (1797), and later works such as Charlotte Brontë’s Villette (1853) and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897)--pose as semi-ethnographic texts in their representation of Continental Europe or the Far East as fundamentally un-English, sites of depravity. On the other, a persuasive notion of Englishness was itself constructed in these novels. This construction initially functioned by means of a threatened female figure (the quintessential Gothic heroine) who ostensibly embodied a peculiarly English subjectivity. Later, threatened femininity came to stand in synecdochically for the nation as a whole, a development that clarifies the usefulness of Gothic plotting to England’s efforts to imagine itself. In journalistic accounts of imperial conflicts such as the Sepoy Mutiny and the Opium Wars, for instance, the figure of the Gothic heroine was pulled from the pages of fiction and pressed into the service of the nation-state.
David Shaw Babel and the Ivory Tower: The Scholar in an Age of Science
University of Toronto Press, 2005
Review by Tracy Ware, University of Toronto Quarterly. “‘For four decades,’ David Shaw writes, ‘I have been trying to discover why scholarship and teaching are at once fulfilling enterprises and exercises in frustration.’ His career as a critic of Victorian poetry has been exceptionally fulfilling for his students and readers, and this book is a compelling account of the highest scholarly ideals, combined with an extraordinary range of memorable quotations and anecdotes. Despite his ‘sympathy with humanists who deplore the death of scholarship,’ he has ‘no desire to write an elegy,’ and his faith in the university outlasts his dissatisfaction with recent trends within in it.” Short-listed for Raymond Kablinsky Prize.
Secrets of the Oracle: A History of Wisdom from Zeno to Yeats
University of Toronto Press, 2009
What is wisdom? Where does it come from? Where can we find it? In Secrets of the Oracle David Shaw explores these questions by turning to the works of wisdom writers, whose words retain their meaning and their transformative power even centuries after they were written.
The Ghost Behind the Masks: The Victorian Poets and Shakespeare
University of Virginia Press, 2014
Assessing Shakespeare’s influence on nine Victorian poets, Shaw argues that influence is never a matter of mere quotation but involves more elusive elements of rhetoric and style. Though Tennyson often quotes Shakespeare, in style and manner he is more Miltonic, less Shakespearean, than Browning and Hopkins, or even than Christina Rossetti, whose reserve and profound simplicity are often more Shakespearean. Lear’s “Pray you, undo this button,” like Rossetti’s “Give me the lowest place,” is an example of natural simplicity, whereas Tennyson usually achieves only a mannered semblance of it.
Atavistic Tendencies: the Culture of Science in American Modernity
University of Minnesota Press, 2008
The post-Darwinian theory of atavism forecasted obstacles to human progress in the reappearance of throwback physical or cultural traits after several generations of absence. In this work, Dana Seitler explores the ways in which modernity itself is an atavism, shaping a historical and theoretical account of its dramatic rise and impact on Western culture and imagination.
Examining late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century science, fiction, and photography, Seitler discovers how modern thought oriented itself around this paradigm of obsolescence and return, one that served to sustain ideologies of gender, sexuality, and race. She argues that atavism was not only a discourse of violence, mapping racial and sexual divisions onto the boundary between human and animal, but was also an illustration of how modern science understood human being as a temporal category. On the one hand, atavism positioned some humans as more advanced than others on an evolutionary scale. On the other, it undermined such progressivism by suggesting that because all humans had evolved from animals they were therefore not purely human. Investigating the cultural logic of science in conjunction with naturalist, feminist, and popular narratives, Seitler exposes the influence of atavism: a fundamental shift in ways of knowing, and telling stories about, the modern human.
Prague BluesPrague Blues: The Fiction of Josef Škvorecký
ECW Press, 1988
Prague Blues is the first book-length study of the fiction of the Czech-Canadian writer Josef Skvorecky (b. 1924) who has been described by George Steiner in The New Yorker as ‘one of the major literary figures of our time’ and who won the Neustadt Prize in 1980 and was nominated for the Nobel Prize. This critical overview of Skvorecky’s career suggests that the novelist is a central figure not only in the literature of Central Europe but in the writing of the West, and that his novels, from the now classic The Cowards (1958) to The Miracle Game (1972) and the award-winning The Engineer of Human Souls (1977) constitute an irreplaceable fictional chronicle of the past half-century of European society and history. Solecki suggests that Skvorecky is essentially a comic and anti-political writer who, because of the irony of historical circumstances, developed almost against his will into an important political novelist. He argues that at the heart of the novelist’s comic and often satiric fiction is a fundamentally religious vision that offers a defence of the individual and of certain average human values against the dogmas of totalitarian ideologies. In this he writes in the tradition that includes Czeslaw Milosz and Alexandr Solzhenitsyn. In addition to interpretations of the major novels and stories, Prague Blues contains a biographical chronicle of Skvorecky’s career.
Sam SoleckiRagas of Longing: The Poetry of Michael Ondaatje
University of Toronto Press, 2003
Ragas of Longing offers the first book-length study of Michael Ondaatje’s poetry and its place within his overall body of work. Relating the poetry to various poetic traditions from classical Sanskrit and Tamil to postmodern, the book presents a chronologically arranged critical reading of Ondaatje’s six volumes. Among the study’s concerns are the relationship between the poet’s life and work, his poetic debts and development, his theory of poetry and his central themes. It also includes close readings of Ondaatje’s monographs on Leonard Cohen and Edwin Muir, the Scots poet and critic. The book suggests that Ondaatje’s poetry can be seen as constituting a relatively cohesive personal canon that has evolved with each book building on its predecessors while simultaneously preparing the ground for its successor. The author argues that Ondaatje’s writing has a narrative unity and trajectory determined by crucial events in his life, especially the breakup of his family and his subsequent exile from his father and Ceylon. The result is a body of work whose vision is post-Christian, postmodern, and, despite an often humorous tone, fundamentally tragic.
Sam Solecki, ed.
Yours, Al: The Collected Letters of Al Purdy
Harbour Publishing, 2004
Published four years after the poet’s death, Yours, Al can be read as an unexpurgated companion to his 1997 autobiography, Reaching for the Beaufort Sea, and his collected poems, Beyond Remembering: The Collected Poems of Al Purdy (2000). Like any body of interesting correspondence, they offer a perspective on the life and times of an individual from a viewpoint unavailable to anyone else. If, to quote the title of one of Purdy’s last books, No One Else Is Lawrence!, it is also true that no one else is quite like Purdy. And we read letters, whether Lawrence’s or Purdy’s, to encounter those very qualities that make him unique, or in Mary Wordsworth’s more figurative phrase, "to see the breathing of the inmost heart upon paper." What we discover are the various, sometimes contradictory aspects of a great writer’s self caught in the voices and personae of letters written to various people at different times and on different occasions. We get a more complex, almost cubist self-portrait in various styles and in nearly countless typefaces than we find in an autobiography (or biography). In Purdy’s case, the "picture" is the result of thousands of individual texts produced over a period of half a century and it illustrates Proust’s suggestion that "On ne se réalise que successivement," a notion that finds some incidental confirmation in Purdy’s uncertainty for many years in his letters and his books about his name: was he Alfred Wellington Purdy, Alfred W. Purdy, A.W. Purdy, Alfred Purdy or Al? In this fascinating collection we find Purdy in dialogue with individuals as different as Margaret Laurence, Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Northrop Frye, Jack McClelland and Pierre Trudeau.
and David Loewenstein, eds. and contributorsEarly Modern Nationalism and Milton’s England
University of Toronto Press, 2008
Despite John Milton’s intense political engagement and stirring defenses of the English Revolution, relatively little has been written on Milton’s patriotism, his concept of the nation and its relation to early modern nationalism. This book sets out to redress the balance. Informed by a range critical methods, its fifteen essays examine the complex expressions of nationhood and national identity in Milton’s writings in order to illuminate some of the crucial literary, ethnic, and civic dimensions of nationalism in general. The book’s argument falls into five sections: the representation of England as the peculiar locus of a “free people,” the nation and its church, ethnicity and international relations, nationalism and its discontents, and the nationalization of Milton. “This stunning volume immensely expands our understanding of Milton and early modern nationalism. It will be de rigueur reading for all those interested in the nation and nationalism from the early modern period to the twenty-first century” (Rachel Trubowitz [New Hampshire]). “Compelling and discriminating” (Nigel Smith [Princeton]).
and Viviana Comensoli, eds. and contributorsDiscontinuities: New Essays on Renaissance Literature and Criticism
University of Toronto Press, 1998
Over the past two decades there has been a generally recognized paradigm shift in the study of English Renaissance literature. Scholarly attention has moved from the individual to the social as the agent of literary production and the principal site of discussion. Genius is now far less likely to be invoked than discourse, culture, or ideology. The intellectual shift, routinely associated with new historicism, feminism, and cultural materialism, has been neither uncontested nor simple and uniform. The essays in this volume set out to identify, examine, and respond to these discontinuities, and in so doing attest to the extraordinary vitality of contemporary Renaissance studies. “This powerful collection of essays points to the limitations of historicism in a robust call for new theorizing of English Renaissance literary studies. Discontinuities offers a most compelling and subtle analysis of current modes of criticism in Renaissance studies” (Sharon Achinstein [Oxford]). “Exceptionally honest and provocative” (Comparative Drama ).
Paul StevensImagination and the Presence of Shakespeare in ‘Paradise Lost’
University of Wisconsin Press, 1985
English literary history has long held that Milton renounced Shakespeare, and for some literary critics this meant the renunciation of the creative imagination. This work of criticism is the first extensive study to explore the influence of Shakespeare on Milton’s poetry and understanding of imagination. Stevens uncovers an unusual range of Shakespearean echoes in Paradise Lost and other works to substantiate his argument that Shakespeare functioned in Milton’s intellectual and psychic life as a symbol or type of the imagination and its potential for doing many things but most importantly for creating religious belief. “What is most valuable about this book, and most original, is the quite extraordinary way other texts, and especially the plays of Shakespeare, are used as the main instrument of exegesis” (Annabel Patterson [Yale]). “Stevens is a superb teacher of the way in which poetry should be read – must be read” (Joseph Wittreich [Graduate Center, CUNY]).
Rosemary SullivanStalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva
The award-winning author of Villa Air-Bel returns with a painstakingly researched, revelatory biography of Svetlana Stalin, a woman fated to live her life in the shadow of one of history’s most monstrous dictators—her father, Josef Stalin.
Born in the early years of the Soviet Union, Svetlana Stalin spent her youth inside the walls of the Kremlin. Communist Party privilege protected her from the mass starvation and purges that haunted Russia, but she did not escape tragedy—the loss of everyone she loved, including her mother, two brothers, aunts and uncles, and a lover twice her age, deliberately exiled to Siberia by her father.
As she gradually learned about the extent of her father’s brutality after his death, Svetlana could no longer keep quiet and in 1967 shocked the world by defecting to the United States—leaving her two children behind. But although she was never a part of her father’s regime, she could not escape his legacy. Her life in America was fractured; she moved frequently, married disastrously, shunned other Russian exiles, and ultimately died in poverty in Spring Green, Wisconsin.
With access to KGB, CIA, and Soviet government archives, as well as the close cooperation of Svetlana’s daughter, Rosemary Sullivan pieces together Svetlana’s incredible life in a masterful account of unprecedented intimacy. Epic in scope, it’s a revolutionary biography of a woman doomed to be a political prisoner of her father’s name. Sullivan explores a complicated character in her broader context without ever losing sight of her powerfully human story, in the process opening a closed, brutal world that continues to fascinate us.
Rosemary SullivanVilla Air-Bel
HarperCollins and John Murray, 2006
The true story of a remarkable place and time and of a group of legendary artists, intellectuals, scientists, musicians, writers, philosophers, and political leaders who found shelter and sanity in a world turned murderous. France, 1940. The once glittering boulevards of Paris teem with spies, collaborators, and the Gestapo now that France has fallen to Hitler’s Wermacht. For André Breton, Max Ernst, Victor Serge, Marc Chagall, Consuelo de Saint-Exupéry, Remedios Varo, Benjamin Péret, and scores of other cultural elite denounced as enemies of the Third Reich, fear and uncertainty define daily life. One wrong glance, one misplaced confidence could mean arrest, deportation, and death. Their only salvation is the Villa Air-Bel, a chateau outside Marseilles where a group of young people will go to extraordinary lengths to keep them alive. Financed by the Emergency Rescue Committee, a private American relief organization, unlikely heroes -- feisty graduate student Marian Davenport, Harvard-educated classical scholar Varian Fry, beautiful and compelling heiress Mary Jayne Gold, and brilliant young Socialist and survivor of the Battle of Dunkerque, Danny Bénédite as well as his British wife Theo -- cajole, outwit, and use every means possible to stave off the Nazis and newly-installed Vichy government officials circling closer with each passing day. The chateau was a vibrant artistic salon, home to lively debates and clandestine affairs, to Sunday art auctions and subversive surrealist games. Relationships within the house were tense and arguments were common, but the will to survive kept the covert operation under wraps. Beyond the chateau’s luscious façade war raged, yet hope reverberated within its halls. With the aid of their young rescuers, these diverse individuals, intense, brilliant, and utterly terrified, were able to survive one of the darkest chapters of the 20th century. Villa Air-Bel is a powerfully told, meticulously researched true story. Rosemary Sullivan explores the diaries, memoirs and letters of the individuals involved while uncovering their private worlds and the web of relationships they developed. Filled with suspense, drama and intrigue Villa Air-Bel is an excellent work of narrative nonfiction that delves into a fascinating albeit hidden saga in our recent history.
Black Moss Press, November 2011.
Deep under the ground lived a little mole named Molito. His fur was brown, the colour of burnt toast. His eyes were as yellow as the sun. Molito
is a story about friendship. One day in the underground park, Molito meets an ant named Carlota who tells him about the mysterious place she lives in, called the upperworld. Molito sets out on his journey to discover what that world is. Molito
is written by Rosemary Sullivan and Juan Opitz, and illustrated by Rosemary’s sister Colleen Sullivan. The Chilean Canadian musician Nano Valverde has composed music to accompany the story narrated by Rosemary Sullivan. A CD of music and story will be included in the sleeve of the book.
Music composed and performed by Nano Valverde. Zampoña and kena played by Claudia Saldivia. Narration by Rosemary Sullivan. Produced, recorded and mastered by Juan Opitz, The HeadRoom Productions, Canada. (from Black Moss Press)
Cheryl Suzack, Shari Huhndorf, Jeanne Perreault, and Jean Barman, eds. and contributors Indigenous Women and Feminism: Politics, Activism, Culture
University of British Columbia Press, 2010
*Awarded the 2012 Canadian Women's Studies Association (CWSA/ACEF) Outstanding Scholarship Prize*
Can the specific concerns of Indigenous women be addressed within current mainstream feminist and post-colonial discussions? Indigenous Women and Feminism: Politics, Activism, Culture
proposes that a dynamic new line of inquiry -- Indigenous feminism -- is necessary to truly engage with the crucial issues of cultural identity, nationalism, and decolonization particular to Indigenous contexts.
Through the lenses of politics, activism, and culture, this wide-ranging collection examines the historical roles of Indigenous women, their intellectual and activist work, and the relevance of contemporary literature, art, and performance for an emerging Indigenous feminist project. The questions at the heart of these essays -- What is at stake in conceptualizing Indigenous feminism? How does feminism relate to Indigenous claims to land and sovereignty? What lessons can we learn from the past? How do Indigenous women engage ongoing violence and social and political marginalization? -- cross disciplinary, national, academic, and activist boundaries to explore in depth the unique political and social positions of Indigenous women.
"A much needed and important addition to the scholarship of the Indigenous renaissance, this collection illuminates the effects of the colonial experience and contemporary politics, culture, and activism on Indigenous women’s lives." (Marie Battiste [University of Saskatchewan])
“Power and purpose drive this crucial, timely, and extraordinarily valuable collection” (Kathryn Shanley [University of Montana]).
Syme, Holger Schott
Theatre and Testimony in Shakespeare's England: A Culture of Mediation
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, December 2011
Holger Syme presents a radically new explanation for the theater's importance in Shakespeare's time. He portrays early modern England as a culture of mediation, dominated by transactions in which one person stood in for another, giving voice to absent speakers or bringing past events to life. No art form related more immediately to this culture than the theater. Arguing against the influential view that the period underwent a crisis of representation, Syme draws upon extensive archival research in the fields of law, demonology, historiography and science to trace a pervasive conviction that testimony and report, delivered by properly authorized figures, provided access to truth. Through detailed close readings of plays by Ben Jonson and William Shakespeare - in particular Volpone
, Richard II
and The Winter's Tale
- and analyses of criminal trial procedures, the book constructs a revisionist account of the nature of representation on the early modern stage.
Excerpts to be found here: http://www.dispositio.net/archives/606 Advance Praise:
"While Shakespeare critics debate the merits of text versus performance, page versus stage, Holger Schott Syme's powerful new study argues for attending the relationship between the two. Early modern English law and theater both derive their lively oral evocations from written imitations of speech; in tracking this shared dependence on a scripted illusion of voice and presence, Syme offers original and unexpected insights into a broad range of dramatic and legal fictions, from comedies and romances to treason trials."
- Lorna Hutson, University of St Andrews
"Theatre and Testimony
is a masterful survey of how, against prevailing historicist and theoretical arguments on the writing and culture of this period, the Elizabethan and Jacobean world established multiple forms of authority, in particular in the fields of law and theater, through strategies which relied on mediation, circulation, and the multiplication of sources. Syme's analyses are profoundly revisionary, wonderfully original, even contrarian, and supported by a wealth of careful detail and intelligent and subtle readings. It is hard to overstate the extent to which his argument requires a revision of the way literary scholars since 1980 and the rise of New Historicism have seen Tudor and Stuart culture. This may be one of those rare books that makes scholars reconsider what has become received wisdom about early modern performance and its means of authorization."
- William N. West, Northwestern University
Syme, Holger Schott Locating the Queen’s Men, 1583-1603: Material Practices and Conditions of Playing
Ed. Helen Ostovich, Holger Schott Syme, and Andrew Griffin Aldershot: Ashgate, 2009
Locating the Queen's Men
presents new and groundbreaking essays on early modern England's most prominent acting company, from their establishment in 1583 into the 1590s. Offering a far more detailed critical engagement with the plays than is available elsewhere, this volume situates the company in the theatrical and economic context of their time.
The essays gathered here focus on four different aspects: playing spaces, repertory, play-types, and performance style, beginning with essays devoted to touring conditions, performances in university towns, London inns and theatres, and the patronage system under Queen Elizabeth. Repertory studies, unique to this volume, consider the elements of the company's distinctive style, and how this style may have influenced, for example, Shakespeare's Henry V
. Contributors explore two distinct genres, the morality and the history play, especially focussing on the use of stock characters and on male/female relationships.
Revising standard accounts of late Elizabeth theatre history, this collection shows that the Queen's Men, often understood as the last rear-guard of the old theatre, were a vital force that enjoyed continued success in the provinces and in London, representative of the abiding appeal of an older, more ostentatiously theatrical form of drama. Reviews:
‘Locating the Queen’s Men, 1583–1603
is a vital and expansive contribution to repertory studies and serves as a microcosmic representation of current interests in the scholarship of early modern drama.’ Shakespeare
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