This is the only modern stage-history of its kind, and a book for every Shakespeare-lover. It tells the story of the plays on the English stage - four hundred years of dramatic history, from the vital, competitive theatre of Shakespeare's own lifetime to the wealth of interpretations, classical to experimental, of the present day. It is a story of constant rediscovery, as the fashions, intuitions, and politics of each age reinterpreted the plays' meanings - and often even their plots. Actresses stepped into the female roles written originally for boy-actors; and the theatre evolved, from open-air Elizabethan stages like the Rose and Globe to the proscenium theatre, grand spectacle, and the whole panoply of modern lighting and staging equipment. Written by a team of experts, this book illuminates both the plays and the men and women who staged, adapted, and performed them: Burbage, who was Shakespeare's Richard III, Henry V, and Hamlet; Mary Betterton, in 1664 the first woman to play Lady Macbeth; Garrick, whose lifelong championing of Shakespeare is largely responsible for his elevation to the status of National Poet; and the famous actor-managers who produced the plays on an increasingly grand scale throughout the nineteenth century - Kemble, Kean, Macready, Irving. Generous space is given to the great figures of twentieth-century theatre - Donald Wolfit, Lilian Baylis, John Gielgud, Laurence Olivier, Peggy Ashcroft, Ralph Richardson, Tyrone Guthrie, Peter Brook - and to the companies and actor - directors of today, from Cheek by Jowl and the Royal Shakespeare Company to Michael Bogdanov and Kenneth Branagh. A special chapter by Dame Judi Dench provides a unique actor's perspective; and the book comes right up to date with accounts of contemporary directors' theatre, including productions by Michael Bogdanov, Deborah Warner, and Sam Mendes. Over a hundred illustrations, and a large cast of actors, audiences, andreviewers, bring to life the key productions and developments described in each chapter, in a dramatic story which is at once history, tragedy, and comedy!
Britain is an island nation and throughout history its navy has been of great importance for its defence. As a consequence it has always had a special significance and has over the centuries entrenched itself in the national psyche, making itself manifest not only through the hero-worship of its principal characters such as Horatio Nelson and Sir Francis Drake but also finding expression through art, music, and literature. Like any great national institution, the navy is a complex webof interconnected histories - operational, strategic, political, economic, administrative, technological, and social. Now updated for its paperback edition, The Oxford Illustrated History of the Royal Navy, in a series of fourteen chapters, provides a thorough and engaging treatment of these histories, covering every aspect of naval history from the Anglo-Saxon period to the dawn of the new millennium. The book explores: Major action and campaigns - the defeat of the Spanish Armada, the Anglo-Dutch Wars, the Battle of Trafalgar, the Battle of Jutland, the Atlantic Campaign of 1939-45, the Falklands conflict, the Gulf War, and attacks on terrorist bases in Afghanistan in 2001. Developments in naval history and technology - navigational advances, surveying, constructional developments, disaster relief, the suppression of the slave trade, and the Strategic Defence Review of 1998. Key personalities - Drake and Nelson, Samuel Pepys, Francis Beaufort, Jackie Fisher, Lord Charles Beresford, Lord Jellicoe. Naval life - recruitment (press gangs, training, education, discipline), tactics, gunnery and armaments, amphibious operations, wages and conditions, victualling and supply. How and when did Britain's perception of the sea change from a thing of fear to a 'moat defence' (in the words of Shakespeare)? How did the navy's administrative systems develop during the Tudor period? During the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, its greatest period of expansion, how didthe navy develop strategically and operationally? How successfully did the navy defend the British Empire during the nineteenth century? What role did the navy play in Victorian Britain's thirst for exploring of the world? What technical developments have been important to the navy? What effect did two world wars have on the role of the Royal Navy? What does the modern navy look like now and what about the future? With a full chronology, which has been brought up to date to the end of 2001, an extensive list of further reading, 16 pages of colour plates, 23 maps, 6 special Action Station diagram 'box' features, and around 200 black-and-white integrated illustrations, this is an authoritative and highly readable account of a unique fighting service and its people.
The First World War, now a century ago, still shapes the world in which we live, and its legacy lives on, in poetry, in prose, in collective memory and political culture. By the time the war ended in 1918, millions lay dead. Three major empires lay shattered by defeat, those of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottomans. A fourth, Russia, was in the throes of a revolution that helped define the rest of the twentieth century. The Oxford History of the First World War brings together in one volume many of the most distinguished historians of the conflict, in an account that matches the scale of the events. From its causes to its consequences, from the Western Front to the Eastern, from the strategy of the politicians to the tactics of the generals, they chart the course of the war and assess its profound political and human consequences. Chapters on economic mobilization, the impact on women, the role of propaganda, and the rise of socialism establish the wider context of the fighting at sea and in the air, and which ranged on land from the trenches of Flanders to the mountains of the Balkans and the deserts of the Middle East. First published for the 90th anniversary of the 1918 Armistice, this highly illustrated revised edition contains significant new material to mark the 100th anniversary of the war's outbreak.
A comprehensive history of the crusades ranges from the eleventh century to modern times and includes commentary on the art and architecture associated with the crusades and insights into the history of the knightly orders
An introduction to medieval England surveying the years from the departure of the Roman legions to the Battle of Bosworth covers England's social, cultural, political, and religious life during the Middle Ages.
Ranging from ancient Greek tragedies to the latest developments in London, Paris, New York, and around the globe, The Oxford Companion to Theatre and Performance provides an all-embracing approach that encompasses drama and musical, opera and film, dance and radio, and non-dramatic performances including circuses, carnivals, and parades. Based on the celebrated two-volume Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance, this compact, affordable Companion features more than 2,000 up-to-date entries, covering styles and movements, buildings, organizations, regions, and traditions--with a particularly strong focus on biographies of actors, playwrights, directors, designers, and critics. Editor Dennis Kennedy has significantly updated the timeline of historical and cultural events in the world of theatre and performance, and he has added an appendix of useful weblinks, which are supported and accessible through a companion website. Finally, the book includes many new entries that cover the people and companies who have come into prominence since the publication of the Encyclopedia.
Written by eleven contributors of international standing, this book offers a readable and authoritative account of Europe's turbulent history from the French Revolution in the late eighteenth century to the present day. Each chapter portrays both change and continuity, revolutions and stability, and covers the political, economic, social, cultural, and military life of Europe. With over 200 colour and black-and-white illustrations, this book provides a better understanding of modern Europe, how it came to be what it is, and even where it may be going in the future. 'good illustrations intelligently fitted to the text an excellent book, which deserves to be held well above the coffee-table' TLS 'admirable book, magnificently illustrated it gives the reader plenty to reflect on as well as the answers to many specific questions about the past' Good Book Guide 'expertly succinct essays' New Statesman 'both stimulating and accessible' History Today 'a superb volume, complete with maps, and tells the story of a continent from the 18th century to the present day' Irish Times