Acting in the Night
Macbeth and the Places of the Civil War
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: University of California Press
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Title Page, About the Series, Copyright, Dedication
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Introduction: A Drop That Dyes the Seas
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...this book grew out of my wish to study a single night’s performanceof Macbeth from sometime in the mid-nineteenth century in some Amer-ican city. My plan was to understand events of that day in that place by thelight, or darkness, thrown by the play, and I hoped newspapers, letters, anddiaries would help me along. I wanted to see how a performance of the play...
1. A Stone’s Throw: Charlotte Cushman
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...of Friday, October 9, 1863, to play Lady Macbeth later that month. She hadreturned to the United States earlier that year from Rome, where she lived,to deliver a series of benefit performances of Macbeth to aid the UnitedStates Sanitary Commission. A fiercely pro-Union native of Massachusetts,age forty-seven in 1863, Cushman had already performed in Philadelphia...
2. The Flame of Place: Abraham Lincoln
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...abraham lincoln had a power of being in one place only. He believedin a here and now of experience, a form of presence. In such moments hewould gather and crush down his sight into single places and single visionsof extraordinary and lonely intensity—melancholic, ecstatic, or both. Howwas this sense of presence manifest as the president sat at Grover’s Theatre...
3. The Glass Case: Interior Life in Washington, D.C.
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...did the performance of the play relate to other happenings in Wash-ington that day? The readiest answer is no. Attending a play by the 1860swas an increasingly private experience, a ceremonial occasion when spec-tators were cut oª from one another, left to lose themselves in their dreamsand meditations about what they saw, and largely cut oª from the world...
4. Acoustic Shadows: The Battle of Bristoe Station
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...the diary of william owner, a resident of Washington, D.C., opensin December 1860 with a description of “Distances marked on a map ofOn Saturday, October 17, 1863, Owner was thinking about a much nearerlocation, a few miles across the Potomac. “On Thursday there was consid-erable skirmishing ‘all along’ the front of the army which occupies in part...
5. Center of Echoes: Castle Murray, Fauquier County, Virginia
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...within a few miles of bristoe station is Castle Murray, a MedievalRevival home designed and built for Dr. James Murray in 1857–58. Gou-verneur Kemble Warren used Murray’s home as his headquarters on thenight of October 13–14, 1863. At 2:00 a.m. on the fourteenth a messengerrode up to the castle with Warren’s orders from General George Meade,...
6. Ghosts: The Death of Colonel Thomas Ruffin, October 17, 1863
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...across the potomac, in Alexandria, Virginia, the Confederate colonelThomas Ru‹n died the night Macbeth was performed. Wounded in askirmish at Auburn, Virginia, near Castle Murray, early in the morning ofOctober 14—at the start of the fighting that ended later that day at Bris-toe Station—Ru‹n had been taken to Alexandria as a prisoner of war and...
7. Sound and Fury: Nature in Virginia
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...the play that night sent its signals into nature. As much as it hopedto aªect the world around it—the city of Washington, the buildings andbattlefields of Virginia—the play tried also, strange as that might seem, toimprint itself on the very leaves and streams of the natural world. To con-sider how it did this, and failed to do this, is to think of the work of art in...
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So many people have helped my research on this book. In Washington, Ithank Yvonne Carignan and her staª at the Kiplinger Research Library;Dan Mattausch, independent scholar; Donn Murphy, of the National The-atre; Mari Nakahara, of the American Architectural Foundation; RichardStamm, of the Smithsonian Institution; David Ward, of the National Por-...
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...1. Wallace Stevens, “Anecdote of the Jar” and “The Idea of Order at KeyWest,” Wallace Stevens: Collected Poetry and Prose, ed. Frank Kermode and Joan2. Text references here and throughout the book are to act, scene, and line(s)of William Shakespeare, Macbeth, ed. Stephen Orgel (London: Penguin, 2000).3. Harold Bloom, Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human (NewYork:River-...
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Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, New Haven,Bostonian Society Library and Special Collections, Boston, MassachusettsKiplinger Research Library, Historical Society of Washington, D.C.Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University, New Haven, ConnecticutUniversity of Rochester, Rush Rhees Library, Rare Books and Special...
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
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...4. John Bachmann, Bird’s Eye View of the City of Washington, D.C.,14. Boston Music Hall organ, with Thomas Crawford’s Beethoven,16. Giorgio Sommer, Plaster Cast of Pompeii Victims, February 5, 1863 /4417. Giorgio Sommer, Plaster Cast of Pompeii Victims, February 5, 1863 /4422. Richard Morris Hunt, Charlotte Cushman House: Details of Finials,...
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Page Count: 312
Publication Year: 2010