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Reviews475 a study would explore the profound relationship between the dynamic transformation of European culture and society brought about by the industrial and French revolutions. Europeans perceived that they had obliterated the old order. Traditional teachings no longer sufficed to provide adequate guidance for negotiating the new order. The revolutionary sensibility encouraged an individualism that presupposed a concept of freedom. But how to exercise one's freedom became a central concern. Because freedom is paradoxical, intentionality confronting the iron conditionality of existence, new modes of consciousness were in order, specifically the awareness of historicity. The aristocratic aesthetic tradition was unable to adapt to the new historical sensibility. Opera shed the pretenses of seria in favor of historical context. The novel came into its own during the revolutionary period. The novel and opera were most flexible in adapting new forms to incarnate the new existential reality. Scott's novelistic genius was in his amalgam of nostalgia, historicity, and the picaresque. As Mitchell suggests, Shakespeare too was at least as popular with opera composers as Scott and likewise created attractive protagonists caught in the web of historicity. Nevertheless, that is the only similarity between Shakespeare and Scott when it comes to the opera house. There are few successful adaptations of Shakespeare's plays to the opera stage, the notable exceptions being Verdi's Otello and Falstaff. Perhaps his writing is too operatic, too lyrical, for libretto writing. Unlike Shakespeare , Scott's writing style was prosaic enough to lend itself to an easy adaptability to the opera stage. Mitchell is committed to demonstrating the importance of Scott's work to nineteenth-century culture. One hopes that he will employ his enormous erudition in the future to offer the reader a literary analysis of Scott's great service to the history of opera. BERNARD ZELECHOW York University, Ontario Antonia Pulci. Florentine Drama for Convent and Festival: Seven Sacred Plays. Translated by James Wyatt Cook; edited by James Wyatt Cook and Barbara Collier Cook. The Other Voice in Early Modem Europe [I]. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996. Pp. xxx + 281. $33.00 (casebound), $14.00 (paperbound). Antonia Pulci (Florence, 1452-1501) has long been recognized as the author of a number of sacre rappresentazioni. In the earliest editions by the Florentine printer Antonio Miscomini, only three plays are attributed to her: Santa Domitilla, "facta & composta in uersi per mona Antonia donna di Bernardo pulci lâno MCCCCLXXIII," and Santa Guglielma and San Francesco, both "COMPOSTA PER MONA ANTONIA 476 Comparative Drama donna Di Bernardo Pvlci." A fourth play, the Figliuolprodigo (which is a reworking of an earlier play of the Vitello sagginato by Piero di Mariano Muzi), is not known in any incunable edition but is attributed to her from its first surviving edition of 1550. One is reliably attributed to her husband: Barlaam et Iosafat, "COMPOSTA PER BERNARDO PULCI." Other attributions to Antonia or to Bernardo found in Colomb de Batines and in Cioni are most probably the perpetuation of errors by earlier bibliographers. To Antonia Pulci's canon of four works, Cook here adds a further three: Sant'Antonio (from the same Miscomini "collection," and on the grounds that it appears to be associated with the convent of the Múrate), Santa Teodora (on stylistic grounds, even though the earliest extant edition is from 1554), and Rosana (Florence: Miscomini, c.1490). There is, however, little to support the attributions. There was no reason for Miscomini to suppress Antonia's name in the fine c.1490 edition of Sant' Antonio, nor would it simply have been forgotten, since Antonia was still alive and this is a beautiful and careful edition. The only name I have found associated with a Rosana play is that of Guido di Antonio Guidi, who organized a performance of it in Santa Maria del Carmine in carnival 1485. Santa Teodora is more complex. The fact that the edition is so late does not preclude Antonia Pulci's authorship. The early plays were still in circulation, at least in female spaces, as is demonstrated by an allusion in the Intronati comedy L'Hortensio (performed 1561, printed 1571), in which the maid Ulivetta has been asked by her mistress, Leonida, to...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1936-1637
Print ISSN
0010-4078
Pages
pp. 475-477
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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