Bohemians and Critics: The Development of American Theatre Criticism in the Nineteenth Century : The Early Victorians

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9780810813779: Bohemians and Critics: The Development of American Theatre Criticism in the Nineteenth Century : The Early Victorians
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Excerpt from the Introduction: An important area of the American theatre which has been neglected in historical studies is the critic and theatrical criticism. Unlike acting or drama, there are no books which treat the subject with perspective and insight. For information on the past, the historian must turn to anthologies of reviews, biographies, an occasional article in a scholarly journal, a paragraph in theatre textbooks, and doctoral dissertation. This book focuses on five journalistic critics who established their careers in the mid Victorian period, in the 1850s and 1860s, at a time when French critical and cultural ideas were very popular in New York. Their criticism reflects this influence. While we usually consider the roots of our culture to be Anglo-Saxon, in the mid-nineteenth century the influx of French social customs, fashions, music, literature, art, and drama played a large role in the development of our native culture.

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