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Shakespeare in the Eighteenth Century
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Book description

In the eighteenth century, Shakespeare became indisputably the most popular English dramatist. Published editions, dramatic performances and all kinds of adaptations of his works proliferated and his influence on authors and genres was extensive. By the second half of the century Shakespeare's status had been fully established, and since that time he has remained central to English culture. Shakespeare in the Eighteenth Century explores the impact he had on various aspects of culture and society: not only in literature and the theatre, but also in visual arts, music and even national identity. The eighteenth century's Shakespeare, however, was not our Shakespeare. In recovering the particular ways in which his works were read and used during this crucial period in his reception, this book, with its many illustrations and annotated bibliography, is the clearest way into understanding this key phase in the reception of the playwright.

Reviews

"This volume of essays focuses on the critical interest in Shakespeare that has its roots in the 18th century, noting both performance traditions and literary influence."
--Choice

"Perhaps the greatest triumph of this deeply pleasing volume, however, is thedemonstration that Shakespeare in the eighteenth century came to mean somethingcollective, too. The man and his works became a way for England, and to lesser extentBritons and English-speaking peoples generally, to forge an identity that was nationalin the former cases, and linguistic and cultural in the latter."
--Ian Kelly, huntington library quarterly | vol. 76, no. 2

"It is nonetheless the most comprehensive study available, including not only the scholarship mentioned above but also essays on eighteenth-century criticism and reviews of Shakespeare, Shakespearean forgeries, and Shakespeare in opera. Most impressive is that, besides occasional disagreements, this collection builds a remarkably consistent picture of Shakespeare’s status and identity in the eighteenthcentury."
-Nicholas Hudson, Comptes Rendus

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