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Weekly Reading


ALL OF THE WEEKLY CRITICAL READINGS ARE AVAILABLE ONLINE THROUGH THE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY.


Week 1. A Night at the Theatre 1 (Drury Lane, 28/12/1807)

George Lillo, The London Merchant (1731)
Furibond; or Harlequin Negro (1807)

CRITICAL READINGS:
Lisa A. Freeman, "Tragic Flaws: Genre and Ideology in Lillo's London Merchant," South Atlantic Quarterly, 98.3 (1999), 539-561.
John O'Brien, "Pantomimic Politics," in The Oxford Handbook of the Georgian Theatre, 1737-1832, ed. Julia Swindells and David Francis Taylor (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014).


Week 2. A Night at the Theatre 2 (Haymarket, 8/8/1787)

George Colman, Inkle and Yarico (1787)
Elizabeth Inchbald, The Mogul Tale (1784)

CRITICAL READINGS:
Frank Felsenstein, Jean I. Marsden, Mita Choudhury, and Nandini Bhattacharya, "Colman’s Inkle and Yarico: Four Critical Perspectives," in The Oxford Handbook of the Georgian Theatre, 1737-1836
Julie A. Carlson, "Race and Prophet in English Theatre," in The Cambridge Companion to British Theatre, 1730-1830, ed. Jane Moody and Daniel O'Quinn (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007).


Week 3. Satire and Censorship

John Gay, The Beggar’s Opera (1728)
Henry Fielding, The Historical Register for the Year 1736 (1737)

CRITICAL READINGS:
David Thomas, "The 1737 Licensing Act and Its Impact," in The Oxford Handbook of the Georgian Theatre, 1737-1832.


Week 4. The Theatre of Empire

R. B. Sheridan, The School for Scandal (1777) and Pizarro (1799)
John O’Keeffe, Omai; or, A Trip Round the World (1785)

CRITICAL READINGS:
Julie Stone Peters, "Theatricality, legalism, and the scenography of suffering: the trial of Warren Hastings and Richard Brinsley Sheridan's Pizarro," Law and Literature, 18.1 (2006), 15-45.
Mita Choudhury, "Sheridan, Garrick, and a Colonial Gesture: The School for Scandal on the Calcutta Stage," Theatre Journal, 46.3 (1994), 303-21.


Week 5. Women, Work, and the Body

Arthur Murphy, The Grecian Daughter (1772)
Hannah Cowley, The Belle’s Stratagem (1781)

CRITICAL READINGS:
Helen E. M. Brooks, "Theorizing the Woman Performer," in The Oxford Handbook of the Georgian Theatre, 1737-1832.


Week 6. At Home with Performance and Spectatorship

Jane Austen, Mansfield Park (1814)
Elizabeth Inchbald (after Kotzebue), Lovers’ Vows (1798)

CRITICAL READINGS:
Nora Nachumi, "Seeing double: theatrical spectatorship in Mansfield Park," Philological Quarterly, 80.3 (2001), 233-252.


Week 7. Inventing "Shakespeare"

Samuel Johnson, preface to The Plays of Shakespeare (1765)
David Garrick, Harlequin’s Invasion (1759) and Jubilee Ode on Shakespeare (1769)
Charles Somerset, Shakspeare’s Early Days (1829)

CRITICAL READINGS:
Kate Rumbold, "Shakespeare and the Stratford Jubilee," in Shakespeare in the Eighteenth Century, ed. Fiona Ritchie and Peter Sabor (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012).
Kathryn Prince, "Shakespeare and English Nationalism," in Shakespeare in the Eighteenth Century.


Week 8. The Theatre of Revolution

Excerpt from Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790)
M. G. Lewis, The Castle Spectre (1797)
William Hazlitt, "Coriolanus" (1817)

CRITICAL READINGS:
Christopher Reid, "Burke's Tragic Muse: Sarah Siddons and the 'Feminization' of the Reflections," in Burke and the French Revolution: Bicentennial Essays, ed. Steven Blakemore (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1992), 1-27.
Jeffrey N. Cox, "English Gothic Theatre," in The Cambridge Companion to Gothic Fiction, ed. Jerrold E. Hogle (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002).


Week 9. “Romantic” theatricality?

Joanna Baillie, De Monfort (1798) and “Introductory Discourse”
William Wordsworth, The Prelude, Book 7 (1805)
Charles Lamb, "On the Tragedies of Shakespeare" (1812)

CRITICAL READINGS:
Julie A. Carlson, In the Theatre of Romanticism: Coleridge, Nationalism, Women (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), ch. 4.
OPTIONAL: David Francis Taylor, "Wordsworth at the Theater: illegitimate spectacle in Book 7 of The Prelude," European Romantic Review, 20.1 (2009), 77-93.


Week 10. Class, Culture, and Hegemony in 1832

Douglas Jerrold, Rent-Day (1832)
John Walker, The Factory Lad (1832)
Excerpts of Report from the Select Committee on Dramatic Literature (1832)

CRITICAL READINGS:
Matthew Buckley, "The Formation of Melodrama," in The Oxford Handbook of the Georgian Theatre, 1737-1832.
Katherine Newey, "The 1832 Select Committee," in The Oxford Handbook of the Georgian Theatre, 1737-1832.