This edition includes four plays and one libretto, covering more than twenty years of the dramatist's career: The Palace of Truth (1870), Sweethearts (1874), Princess Toto (1876), Engaged (1877) and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (1891). The collection demonstrates that Gilbert was an original dramatist in his own right. The sophisticated irony of his plays challenged the conventions of the Victorian burlesque and sentimental comedy by demanding, and receiving, an intelligent response from the audience. George Rowell's useful and thorough introduction, which presents the theatrical background to Gilbert's development, also shows the dramatist's influence on Pinero, Wilde and Shaw. Gilbert's style combines a technique rarely realistic and stretching to fantasy with a tone apparently cynical and in fact deeply pessimistic. This odd pairing of fantasy and fatalism was recognized by his own and later generations as 'Gilbertian' and the term has been widely applied even outside the theatre.
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(228mm x 152mm x 12mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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