Criticism, Performance and the Passions in the Eighteenth Century is an impressive study of the theory and practice of eighteenth-century acting. Focusing on ‘transition' as a key component of the actor's art, James Harriman-Smith offers us a new way to understand and appreciate the emotional power of theatrical performance in the age of David Garrick. Conceptually astute and deeply immersed in primary sources, his book is a major contribution to British theatre history.
Richard Schoch - Queen's University Belfast
Harriman-Smith's strikingly original work is on the performance of ‘transitions' – emotional turns from one passion to another – in the long eighteenth century. Using information gathered from plays, letters, manuals on speaking and acting, promptbooks, periodicals and paintings, Theatre and the Passions in the Eighteenth Century: The Art of Transition shows how ‘jolts' in the passions affected everything from David Garrick's performances to the writing of lyric odes and the construction of Shakespeare criticism. The extraordinary insights offered by this book will transform our understanding performance and text in the eighteenth-century.
Tiffany Stern - University of Birmingham
‘The Art of Transition is a welcome and even thrilling book because it offers its reader a new word for thinking about - and through that word, a new way of reading - the eighteenth-century archive.’
David Francis Taylor
Source: The Scriblerian and the Kit-Cats