This collection reveals the wide-ranging impact of the Stage Licensing Act of 1737 on literary and theatrical culture in Georgian Britain. Demonstrating the differing motivations of the state in censoring public performances of plays after the Stage Licensing Act of 1737 and until the Theatres Act 1843, chapters cover a wide variety of theatrical genres across a century and show how the mechanisms of formal censorship operated under the Lord Chamberlain's Examiner of Plays. They also explore the effects of informal censorship, whereby playwrights, audiences and managers internalized the censorship regime. As such, the volume moves beyond a narrow focus on erasures and emendations visible on manuscripts to elucidate censorship's wide-ranging significance across the long eighteenth century. Demonstrating theatre archives' potency as a resource for historical research, this volume is of exceptional value for researchers interested in the evolving complexities of Georgian society, its politics and mores.
Ros Ballaster - University of Oxford
Elaine McGirr - University of Bristol
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