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SOME RECENT STUDIES OF ROMANTIC PERIOD 297 Gordon Kent Thomas's Wordsworth's Dirge and Promise: Napoleon, Wellington , and the Conventian of Cintra provides a brief account of the circumstances surrounding Wordsworth's Cintra tract. The book is sensible, but the research on which it is based - to judge by the notes and bibliography - has been confined to familiar secondary materials by inadequate library resources. It may be recommended as a useful introduction to the subject. Reginald Watters's Coleridge is aimed at young readers. It is difficult to talk simply about Coleridge, but Watters manages to convey much of the character of the man and opens the way to sensitive reading of his poetry. His discussion of Coleridge's criticism may be over the heads of his readers, as may his numerous kindly references to modern scholars, but as a schoolmaster, at Coleridge'S own Christ's Hospital, he probably koows what he is about. Romantic Bards and British Reviewers, edited by John O. Hayden, contains selected reviews of Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Keats, and Shelley, written by their contemporaries. Hayden tells us that he wishes 'to present the best criticism of the best-koown works of the major poets' (p. xviii), but his choice of reviews emphasizes the wide range of periodicals of the time. Some of the journals represented here, such as Blackwood's, the Edinburgh Review, and the Quarterly, are generally accessible, but others, such as the Literary Panorama, Theatrical Inquisitor, and Gold's Landon Magazine are comparatively rare. One misses a few favourites: Fraser's, which falls outside Hayden's terminal date of 1830, La Belle Assemblee, and the newspapers. Hayden's introduction makes the point (p. xviii) that the existence of the reviews provided a stimulus to Romantic literature. The suggestion deserves to be followed up. Certainly the reviews were an integral part of literary life, and an awareness of what was normal for them helps us to recognize what was original or unusual in the works of the major poets. (J.R. DE J. JACKSON) HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN AND THE ROMANTIC THEATRE> Contrary to what the general reader might suppose, the nineteenth-century theatre has been severely scanted by researchers. Allardyce Nicoll in his standard work The Development of the Theatre, now in its fifth edition, devotes to it only ten pages out of some 250 and allots it only ten illustrations out of 278. Yet the entire revolution from stage romanticism to stage naturalism was accomplished in the hundred years that began with the French Revolution. The prevailing impression is that little of significance occurred in the theatre of that period until after 1885 when realism was finally perfected by Antoine, the basis of modern illusionistic acting was laid, and the modem director emerged in the person of Stanislavsky. It was a strange view of the century, with all that was of moment in it lumped in its last decade. And this strange view has persisted largely because most people study dramatic literature without "Frederick J. Marker, Hans Christian Andersen and the Romantic Theatre: A Study of Stage Practices in the Prenaturalistic Scandinavian Theatre. University of Toronto Press 1972. Pp. xx, 228. $\0.00. 298 EVERT SPRINCHORN studying theatre history. The great innovators are inevitably associated with great writers like Ibsen and Chekhov. Even Frederick Marker in this book on the Danish theatre feels compelled to anchor his researches to the best·known of Danish writers, H.C. Andersen, and to conceal his real subject in a subtitle: 'stage practices in the prenaturalistic Scandinavian theatre.' Let it be said at once that the chapter on Andersen's plays is not likely to bring about a revival of them. But the material that Marker has culled from the archives of the Danish Royal Theatre resuscitates an epoch of theatre that was as glamorous, enchanting, and affiuent as ours is dispiriting, distracting, and impoverished. It is easy to smile at the supposed naIvete of those romantic audiences who let themselves be deceived by canvas walls with furniture painted on them, by wooden rollers that conjured up the surging sea, and by actors who after having rehearsed a full-length play only four or five times...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 297-298
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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