Category: J.P. Wearing’s books


Here’s a review in The Year’s Work in English Studies (2016):

“J.P. Wearing’s epic series of reference books on the London stage has proved an invaluable resource for theatre scholars since it first started to appear in the 1970s. Covering details about productions at every major London theatre from the 1890s to the 1950s, The London Stage: A Calendar of Plays and Players eventually spanned sixteen volumes. The indexes have now been republished in two monumental editions, which retain the same chronological divisions into decades (1890-9, 1900-0, etc.) with related material. This new publication also includes four key indexes to aid information-gathering: general, genre, theatre, and title. While there has been the occasional quibble about discrepancies with production figures, Wearing’s work remains the most reliable and informative source on plays in London during the first half of the twentieth century, and many will find this two-volume edition of great help.”

Laura Michelle will star as The Second Mrs Tanqueray in a rare revival of Arthur Wing Pinero’s 19th-century ‘woman with a past’ drama at the Rose Theatre in Kingston,  Surrey, for a month from September 27. Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2162911/A-majestic-royal-reading-Mirren-Actress-portrays-Queen-second-time.html#ixzz1yWMP62Jt. 

See also the details at the Rose Theatre.

An ideal time to check out my Broadview edition of the play.

Here are two new reviews of American and British Theatrical Biographies:
Containing nearly double the number of entries and surveying more than twice the number of volumes than the original 1979 edition, this well-organized catalog for special collections provides an excellent starting point for anyone taking on the task of research in the history of the American and British theater. Works indexed include the Burns Mantle Best Plays series, the Theatre World yearbooks, the Who Was Who annuals, and numerous other published books. Individual full-length biographies are not cited. Although some of the sources surveyed are also available in e-book format (as this title is), the author has excluded Internet sources “for a variety of reasons, such as unreliability of content, existence, and accessibility.” Each entry includes basic biographical information, including name (with cross-references to stage names and other pseudonyms), birth and death dates, nationality, occupation, and a code to the sources listed at the front of the first volume. The range of entries is wide, extending from the early days of theater to the present day. Since the focus is on performers “working in live theatre before paying audiences,” film and television actors are excluded unless they have actually appeared onstage. Artists performing in other theatrical arenas, such as opera, dance, circus, music, and music halls, are included, as are critics and others in stage-related occupations. You might not want to “put your daughter on the stage,” but you will want to put this title on the shelf if your library supports theater research and studyBooklist

 
Scholars seeking quick references to biographies of the important contributors in American and British theater, past and present, will welcome this two-volume set by Wearing (emer., English, Univ. of Arizona). The set is an expansion of Wearing’s American and British Theatrical Biography: A Directory (CH, Jan’80). Covering some 130 scholarly theatrical resources, these volumes feature information on about 90,000 people. Cross-referencing is provided for those thespians who appeared under various names during their careers. The index also includes listings from ballet, opera, music, circus, and music halls for those who contributed to the theater world. This resource will be useful for universities with historical theater programs and for the hard-core theatrical scholar. Summing Up: Recommended. Choice

From Santa Monica Press: The Shakespeare Diaries: A Fictional Autobiography

The Shakespeare diaries : a fictional autobiographyBlending fact with fiction and written in diary form, this unique biography of Shakespeare encapsulates his life like never before: from his views on daily events to vivid impressions of the Elizabethan era and his role within such a world. Delightfully whimsical, this distinctive life story provides answers to questions such as What was Shakespeare thinking while he wrote Hamlet? What did he and Ben Jonson talk about when they were having a drink together? Was there really a “Dark Lady”? and What might Shakespeare have said to the formidable Elizabeth I? Incorporating fragments of lines and phrases from The Bard’s plays and poems, this portrait will seize readers with its fresh, offbeat approach to the man and his work. Over fifty pages of fascinating endnotes provide further annotation and information for readers who want to know even more about Shakespeare’s life, work, and times.”

“J.P. Wearing’s The Shakespeare’s Diaries…is a genuine work of scholarly imagination…a work of prodigious research, based on all the facts we know about Shakespeare’s life. The book is crammed with fascinating incident…there is much engaging stuff about his relations with the actors in his company, with the Dark Lady (Aemilia Lanier) who deceived him with Southampton, and with such fellow playwrights as Ben Jonson and John Marston…The Diary is crammed full of plague and deaths and burials, as well as gossip about the great and the near great, including the Essex Rebellion and the War of the Theatres. Shakespeare comes across as a mild, gentle, and generous human being.” Robert Brustein.

From the Broadview Press, Canada:

Arthur W. Pinero, The Second Mrs. Tanqueray, a critical and contextual edition.

The second Mrs. TanquerayThe Second Mrs Tanqueray was the theatrical sensation of the London stage in 1893. It established Pinero as the leading English dramatist of serious, “problem” plays, and created a star out of Mrs. Patrick Campbell in the title role. The play recounts the marriage of a “woman with a past” and how it fails because of the double standard of morality applied unequally and hypocritically by Victorian society to men and women. This edition includes a thoroughly revised text based on the author’s manuscript, prompt copy for the first production, and published first edition; it also incorporates pertinent stage directions from the first production. The critical introduction examines all facets of the play and its production, and the appendices make accessible a wide variety of hard-to-find contemporary contextual materials related to the play.

“Although I have known this play for many years, J.P. Wearing’s introduction sheds new light on many interesting aspects of the piece, which I look forward to teaching afresh with the benefit of this text. The footnotes and the supplementary material all help in understanding the play, placing it in the social and legal context of its day. Not that it is a mere period piece; Pinero’s skill as a playwright is impressive, and one hopes that this edition will encourage new productions.” Richard Foulkes, Professor, University of Leicester

“A century and more after the fact, A. W. Pinero’s most penetrating play, The Second Mrs Tanqueray, has now been given a full-dress evaluative and contextual editorial treatment that does complete justice to its subject. J. P. Wearing, editor of Pinero’s letters, has brought his finely honed scholarly skills and broad knowledge of English theatre and culture to the task of presenting the single most authoritative text of Pinero’s play in existence and surrounding it with several sets of informative critical, social, and cultural writing, along with a comprehensive introduction, chronology, and bibliography. An immense amount of research lies behind this enterprise, and a great range of potential readers, from undergraduate and graduate students to historians and critics, will be the beneficiaries.” Joseph Donohue, Professor Emeritus, University of Massachusetts

Bernard Shaw: Arms and the Man. London: Methuen Drama, 2008.

Arms and the man : a pleasant play“This Shaw play must be one of the funniest written in the last 100 years. It has you running breathlessly to keep up with its logic” (The Guardian) Arms and the Man has proved to one of Shaw’s most popular plays, challenging notions of romance, bravery, cowardice, patriotism, and loyalty. This is a fresh, up to date and accessibly written critical edition for literature and drama students. An authoritative and academically rigorous edition, edited by leading Shaw scholar, J.P Wearing, under the guidance of the advisor to the Shaw Estate, Len Connolly. Students will find a wealth of information to guide their studies: an extended introduction exploring theatrical and historical context, critical reactions, background on the author and stage history. It also includes Shaw’s original Preface, and the play itself contains numerous notes and explanations throughout to aid the student’s understanding.

Bernard Shaw: On War. London: Hesperus Press, 2009. Foreword by Philip Pullman.

On war by Bernard ShawAn anthology of extracts from plays, books, pamphlets, speeches, and letters that reflect Shaw’s wide-ranging views on war, beginning in 1894 and end ending in 1949.

Contents:
Arms and the Man, Act I; The Boer War; The Boer War Revisited; Man and Superman, Act III, “Don Juan in Hell”; Major Barbara, Act III; “Armaments and Conscription: A Triple Alliance against War”; Common Sense About the War; O’Flaherty, V.C.: A Recruiting Pamphlet; “Conscientious Objectors”; Shaw and a Zeppelin; “The Emperor and the Little Girl”; “Joy Riding at the Front”; On the Death of Mrs Patrick Campbell’s Son; War Issues for Irishmen; Heartbreak House, Preface; Saint Joan, Preface; The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Socialism and Capitalism,”Empires in Collision”; “This Danger of War”; “Theatres in Time of War”; “Uncommon Sense About the War”; “The Unavoidable Subject”; Wartime Life in the Country; ” Military and Non-Military Objectives”; “The Atomic Bomb”; Geneva, Preface; “Nuremberg”; Farfetched Fables; “Atomic Welfare.”

“For such a slender volume, it’s a telling and balanced collection. Editor J.P. Wearing ably shows that Shaw was capable of being wonky in his logic; he often appeared to show traces of admiration for Stalin and even, to an extent, Hitler, though this declined rapidly as the second world war progressed. Most of the time, the anthology concentrates on his strengths as a writer: his wit and insight, his equal interest in both the political and human ramifications of conflict, his ability to rattle. . . . Thoughtfully compiled” (Natasha Tripney, Observer, 19 September 1910).

Bernard Shaw and Nancy Astor. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005.

Bernard Shaw and Nancy Astor

The selected correspondence between Bernard Shaw and Nancy Astor who enjoyed a close friendship for over twenty years, from the late 1920s to Shaw’s death in 1950.

American and British Theatrical Biographies An Index – 2 Volumes, 2nd Edition. Lanham: Scarecrow Press, 2014.

American and British theatrical biographies : an index

In 1979, Scarecrow Press published J. P. Wearing’s American and British Theatrical Biography: A Directory, which enabled users to quickly locate biographical information about figures—both major and minor—who are or were connected with British and American theatre. In American and British Theatrical Biographies: An Index, Wearing has revised and extensively expanded the previous work.

This edition draws upon more than 130 sources and 500 volumes that have been surveyed and indexed, providing information on more than 90,000 individuals from the earliest times to the present. For each person listed in the index, the following is provided where available:

  • Name (with cross-references to stage names, pseudonyms, etc.)
  • Birth and death date
  • Nationality
  • Theatrical occupation(s)
  • Codes to sources containing more extensive biographical information


While the focus of the index is on American and British figures working in live theatre before paying audiences, “foreign” personalities are included when the sources surveyed make some mention of their contribution to the British or American theatre. American and British Theatrical Biographies: An Index also embraces the spheres of ballet, opera, music, circus, and music halls. This comprehensive index is a useful source for scholars, theatrical personnel, theatre students, librarians, writers, and theatre historians.