Shakespeare's Victorian Stage
This book explores the revivals of Shakespeare's history plays during the Victorian period, as staged by the famous actor-manager Charles Kean. Between 1852 and 1859, Kean produced celebrated productions of Henry V, Henry VIII, King John, Macbeth and Richard II, renowned for their unprecendented attention to antiquarian detail in sets, costumes, and properties (many of which are shown in the book's illustrations). These productions provided audiences with an unparalleled opportunity to participate in the Victorian obsession with history, especially of the medieval period. Using valuable primary sources, including promptbooks, scenic designs, costume sketches and contemporary reviews, Richard Schoch places mid-Victorian attitudes towards the theatre in the context of major intellectual and political movements of the age. The book will be of interest to scholars and students of theatre history, Shakespeare studies and Victorian culture.