Congreve, the Drama, and the Printed Word

Front Cover
Stanford University Press, 1990 - Drama - 286 pages
In the late seventeenth century, theater and print began the history of their tense relations and imperfect alliance. Plays, of course, had been printed in England for more than a century. However, it was not until the printing of fine editions of English playwrights, by Tonson and others, that it became common for dramatists to worry over the details of both performace and print and to supervise closely the publication of their own works. The theater was joining itself to the page, defining itself against the printed word. The author's focus is the most active phase of the career of William Congreve, a crucial juncture in the history of print and publishing, the two decades before the 1710 Copyright Act, when the book trade was becoming a large, intricate, and lucrative commercial business. Congreve's work in the theater began to yield to his work with the book trade (not only as playwright but also as poet, scholar, translator, and editor), culminating in the three-volume edition of his Works in 1710.
 

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Contents

Oral Ancients Print
75
Pedantry Knowledge and
91
Engravings and Visual
120
Words
140
The Theater Print and
174
Conclusion
203
References
257
Index
275
Copyright

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