Set and Costume Design in Victorian England
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About the Book
Though Romantic elements in stage design are often thought to have ended with the advent of the Victorian era, they in fact persisted into the second half of the nineteenth century. Romantic stages were used in the productions of many of the most prominent actor-managers of the period, including Madame Vestris, Charles Kean, Wilson Barrett, Henry Irving and Herbert Beerbohm Tree.
This work shows how the emphasis placed on the visual elements of Victorian productions—the spectacular romantic settings and historically accurate costumes—revolutionized the position that stage designers held. They emerged from anonymity, becoming recognized and highly-praised collaborators in the creative process.
About the Author(s)
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: photos, references, appendices, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2005 
Table of Contents
1. The First Romantics 3
2. Madame Vestris, James Robinson, Planché and William Beverley: Romanticism, Fantasy, and Spectacle 13
3. Charles Kean and His Designers: A Romance with History 29
4. Wilson Barrett and Edward William Godwin: Another Romantic View of History 61
5. Henry Irving: A Romantic Actor and His Set Designers 81
6. Romantic Swan Song 99
7. Romantic Fairies and Medieval Knights 107
Appendix A: On the Painting of Fairy Scenes and Other Stage Illusions 163
Appendix B: Brief Biographies 173
Select Bibliography 197
Book Reviews & Awards
“thoroughly researched…excellent illustrations”—Choice; “intriguing…usefully illustrated…descriptions of individual costumes are detailed…provides insight into the recasting of set design as a legitimate art”—Victorian Studies; “serious…fascinating…information-packed…detailed…absorbing”—Theatre Crafts International.