Cambridge Catalogue  
  • Help
Home > Catalogue > The Cambridge History of British Theatre
The Cambridge History of British Theatre
Google Book Search

Search this book

Resources and solutions

This title has free online support material available.


  • 40 b/w illus.
  • Page extent: 572 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 3.47 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521650403 | ISBN-10: 0521650402)

Volume 1 of The Cambridge History of British Theatre begins in Roman Britain and ends with Charles II's restoration to the throne imminent. The four essays in Part I treat pre-Elizabethan theatre, the eight in Part II focus on the riches of the Elizabethan era, and the seven in Part III on theatrical developments during and after the reigns of James I and Charles I. The essays are written for the general reader by leading British and American scholars, who combine an interest in the written drama with an understanding of the material conditions of the evolving professional theatre which the drama helped to sustain, often enough against formidable odds. The volume unfolds a story of enterprise, innovation and, sometimes, of desperate survival over years in which theatre and drama were necessarily embroiled in the politics of everyday life: a vivid subject vividly presented.

• The first of three volumes looking at the turbulent public life of performance in Britain • Contains nineteen essays written by leading British and American scholars • Features case studies of famous plays in performance and is fully illustrated


General preface; Chronology; Part I. Pre-Elizabethan Theatre: 1. From Roman to Renaissance in drama and theatre John C. Coldewey; 2. Faith, pastime, performance and drama in Scotland to 1603 John J. McGavin; 3. The Bible as play in Reformation England Paul Whitfield White; 4. Drama in 1553: continuity and change Peter Happé; Part II. Elizabethan Theatre: 5. The development of a professional theatre, 1540–1660 Jane Milling; 6. Drama outside London after 1540 Peter H. Greenfield; 7. 'An example of courtesy and liberality': great households and performance Suzanne Westfall; 8. The birth of an industry Douglas Bruster; 9. Theatre and controversy, 1572–1603 Diana E. Henderson; 10. The condition of theatre in England in 1599 Andrew Gurr; 11. Ben Jonson's Every Man in his Humour: a case study Richard Allen Cave; 12. London professional playhouses and performances Martin White; Part III. Jacobean and Caroline Theatre: 13. Working playwrights, 1580–1642 Roslyn L. Knutson; 14. Theatre and controversy, 1603–42 Janette Dillon; 15. The Stuart masque and its makers David Lindley; 16. Clowns, fools and knaves: stages in the evolution of acting Peter Thomson; 17. Thomas Middleton's A Game at Chess: a case study Richard Dutton; 18. The condition of the theatres in 1642 Martin Butler; 19. Theatre and Commonwealth Janet Clare; Works cited; Index.


'A valuable contribution to scholarship through nineteen fine essays.' Sixteenth Century Journal

'This work makes delightful reading.' Frederick Tollini, Renaissance Quarterly

'… a set that will stand as the most valuable resource on British theater for some time to come. Essential.' Choice

'… exceptional … destined to prove one of the most erudite, and yet accessible, resources for theatre scholars and students as well as serious theatre practitioners … must be hailed as perhaps the most carefully compiled and comprehensively covered history ever attempted … I know of no library that has any other theatre history (focusing exclusively on British Theatre) on its shelves to challenge this great new work's pole position in the theatre reference stakes … All in all a great work.' Amateur Stage


John C. Coldewey, John J. McGavin, Paul Whitfield White, Peter Happé, Jane Milling, Peter H. Greenfield, Suzanne Westfall, Douglas Bruster, Diana E. Henderson, Andrew Gurr, Richard Allen Cave, Martin White, Roslyn L. Knutson, Janette Dillon, David Lindley, Peter Thomson, Richard Dutton, Martin Butler, Janet Clare

printer iconPrinter friendly version AddThis