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The London fairs are important in the history of English drama, for play-acting was one of their main attractions. From Jonson's Bartholomew Fair we have a picture of the Elizabethan fair; it is however insufficiently known that the fairs were still held in the eighteenth century and that plays were still performed at them. Miss Rosenfeld has investigated these entertainments. She has been able to construct a chronological record of the performances at Bartholomew Fair, Southwark Fair, May Fair and some less important centres; she examines such fair-plays and drolls as survive as texts or in printed descriptions, and she analyses the evidence about the structure of the stages and theatres used. She shows that the performances had a large public, and that the actors from the chief theatres found it worthwhile to take part in them; so her account is a necessary supplement to the theatrical history of the eighteenth century.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780521081672
ISBN-10: 052108167X
Format: Paperback
(216mm x 140mm x 13mm)
Pages: 224
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 18-Sep-2008
Country of Publication: United Kingdom


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