By Allardyce Nicoll
Allardyce Nicoll's background of English Drama, 1660-1900 was once a massive scholarly success and the paintings of 1 guy. Nicoll's background, which tells the tale of English drama from the reopening of the theatres on the time of the recovery all over to the tip of the Victorian interval, used to be seen by means of Notes and Queries (1952) as 'a nice paintings of exploration, an in depth consultant to the untrodden acres of our dramatic background, hitherto mostly neglected as barren and without interest'. The background is reissued in seven paperback volumes, to be had individually and as a suite. In volumes 1-5 Nicoll describes the stipulations of the level, actors and executives in addition to dramatic genres. The 6th and 7th volumes supply a accomplished record of the entire performs recognized to were produced or revealed in England among 1660 and 1930, with their authors and substitute titles; it has therefore autonomous price in addition to supplying an index to the sooner volumes.
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Additional info for A History of English Drama 1660-1900: Volume 4, Early Nineteenth Century Drama 1800-1850
The domination of fashion is to be seen nowhere more clearly marked than in the notorious Betty furore. This youth, William Henry West Betty, appeared on Dec. 1, 1804, in London, at the age of thirteen, achieving for two years a popularity which cast even Mrs Siddons and her brother into the shade. '' The craze, as stated, lasted for two years. Thereafter although " some twenty or thirty young wonders, or infant prodigies, under the title of Infant Billington, seven years old Roscius and Billington, Infant Columbine, Ormskirk Roscius, Young Orpheus, Infant Vestris, Infant Clown, Comic Roscius, Infant Degville, Infant Hercules, and Infant Candlesnuffer 2," were followed for a time by those 1 W.
Pp. 92-5. ' At the Olympic in 1815. T H E THEATRE 35 and then, later, the new form of lighting was carried to the stage1• Complaints were made regarding the danger, the odour and the colour of this illuminant, but, once managers realised the ease with which the gas-taps could be manipulated, there was opened up the possibility of great scenic advance ; gas had come to remain until its later rival, electricity, disestablished it in our own times. It must not be thought, of course, that the introduction of gas in itself led to any very great changes.
2 Op. cit. iii. I I I. 30 T H E T H EATRE the end o f [his] tragedies, to give out the play fo r the ensuing night1• So, too, died slowly the convention of the prologue. z 1842), tacked on to it a prologue, but its wording shows clearly that it was an unusual performance : The good old custom of an elder day, When Prologue raised the curtain to the play, And sprightly Epilogue came tittering after, To draw it down again with roars of laughter, Has been abandoned in this railroad age, That you might steam more quickly o'er the stage.