Thomas Betterton: The Greatest Actor of the Restoration Stage (Google eBook)

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Cambridge University Press, Jun 17, 2010 - Drama
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Restoration London's leading actor and theatre manager Thomas Betterton has not been the subject of a biography since 1891. He worked with all the best-known playwrights of his age and with the first generation of English actresses; he was intimately involved in the theatre's responses to politics, and became a friend of leading literary men such as Pope and Steele. His innovations in scenery and company management, and his association with the dramatic inheritance of Shakespeare, helped to change the culture of English theatre. David Roberts's entertaining study unearths new documents and draws fresh conclusions about this major but shadowy figure. It contextualizes key performances and examines Betterton's relationship to patrons, colleagues and family, as well as to significant historical moments and artefacts. The most substantial study available of any seventeenth-century actor, Thomas Betterton gives one of England's greatest performing artists his due on the tercentenary of his death.
  

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Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction
1
Chapter 2 Look my lord it comes Betterton s Hamlet
7
Chapter 3 An obstinately shadowy Titan Betterton in biography
24
Chapter 4 An actor of London early years 16351659
39
Chapter 5 A walk in the park Betterton and the scene of comedy
54
Chapter 6 In the Dukes Company 16601663
69
Chapter 7 Equal with the highest Thomas Betterton and Henry Harris 1663 1668
83
Chapter 8 Actor management running the Duke s Company
102
Chapter 9 In the Company of the Duke Betterton and Catholic politics in the 1670s
120
Chapter 10 Union Betterton and theatrical monopoly 1682 1695
137
Chapter 11 Back to the future breakaway to semiretirement
154
Chapter 12 Books and pictures Betterton and the Chandos Portrait
173
Notes
184
Bibliography
232
Index
250
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

David Roberts is Professor and Head of English at Birmingham City University. His previous publications include The Ladies: Female Patronage of Restoration Drama (1989) and editions of Defoe's Colonel Jack, A Journal of the Plague Year and Lord Chesterfield's Letters. His articles and reviews have appeared in leading journals including Shakespeare Quarterly, The Review of English Studies, ELH, The Times Literary Supplement and New Theatre Quarterly.

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