Tag Archive: Arthur Pinero


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.

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The critics verdicts:
Arms and the Man:

“Wearing assembles much here for advanced researchers to delight in, too. The informative intrdouction, the appendices . . . and the abundance of annotations throughout the text attest to his passion for detail and intimate knowledge of his subject. . . . The competence and breadth of Wearing’s research, his judicious selection of supplementary material, and his insight into Shaw’s life and work make this edition of Arms and the Man an obvious choice for classroom teaching and pleasure reading. Moreover, it should be the one of record for any serious scholar.” Professor Brad Kent, Université Laval, Canada.

The Second Mrs Tanqueray:

“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
The Shakespeare Diaries:

“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.
“In The Shakespeare Diaries: A Fictional Autobiography J. P. Wearing combines factual accuracy with the vividness of fiction in a delightful and entertaining book. The lush detail and fascinating context make this “faction,” as Wearing describes it, far more stimulating and memorable than non-fiction, while generous annotations lend scholarly authority to this work. We get to know Shakespeare as a person through his family and friends and through his private aspirations, motives, fears, and ruminations, not to mention his carnal appetites as a gay blade–sure to surprise, if not scandalize. We meet the irrascible Ben Jonson, and we feel death breathing down our collars. Plague, taverns, duels and envy bring Shakespeare’s England to life. His discussions with colleagues lend background and depth to the famous plays and characters we know so well. Would that I had had access to Shakespeare’s and Nashe’s discussions on The Merchant of Venice when I was a student! Although Professor Wearing incorporates many of Shakespeare’s own words into his diaries, he has many an interesting muse and beautiful phrase of his own, all carefully presented in authentic Elizabethan and Jacobean English. I didn’t want the book to end and felt sad when it did. I had grown quite fond of Will, and suddenly I missed him. Were the last words of the last entry Shakespeare’s or Wearing’s? “Little there is in this life that surpasseth the company of good friends.” Juri Sobol.
“The author . . . is a professor emeritus at the University of Arizona who has spent his life steeped in literature. His goal, judging by the blurb on the back of the book, is both to entertain and educate. As a way of introducing students to William Shakespeare, this book could be a real boon. Despite the author’s use of cod Shakespearean language, not to mention liberal quotes from the Bard himself, this is a good read that should not put off too many younger readers, as the works of the playwright and poet himself can with their arcane and archaic use of the English language. The best example of this might be in the use of the full text of certain sonnets, the language of which contrasts greatly with the general text of the ‘diaries.’ . . . Wearing has also gone to considerable trouble to cover pretty much everything that Shakespeare has written and quite possibly a fair amount that was loosely attributed to him. In this way, readers will get a good overview of the works and the thought processes that might possibly have gone into them. They will also discover that Shakespeare spent an inordinate amount of his time with other playwrights, first Marlowe and then Jonson and,additionally, his sex life was varied to say the least. We all know that he slept with his wife before they married. The affairs with Marlowe, Southampton and other men and women have been better kept secrets until now. The professor has also frequently been overambitious in his attempts to get into Shakespeare’s mind. In attempting to demonstrate his subject’s foresight, far too often he merely demonstrates his own hindsight, apparently innocently introducing subjects that lo and behold are used a few pages later in the creation of a play. The diaries also contain some interesting if not wholly realistic criticism of the plays. In one of the longest entries, a man who is ostensibly Thomas Nashe analyses an early draft of The Merchant of Venice using the kind of sensibilities that are far more 21st-century liberal American than contemporary. Overall, any book that makes the Shakespearean canon more accessible is to be welcomed. While the diaries are unlikely to convince anybody that they really reflect the thoughts of the great man, they are a good mechanism to bring his life and writings to a wider public.” Philip Fisher, The British Theatre Guide, 19 November 2007.
“The end result is a fictional autobiography, or what Wearing supposes Shakespeare himself might have written had he kept an ongoing diary. Thus the diaries include virtually every known fact about Shakespeare, details of his many theatrical and social contemporaries, allusions to historical events, as well as what the author’s introduction describes as ‘Shakespeare’s views’ on his own works and those of other dramatists. In an admirable attempt to lend the diaries an air of authenticity, Wearing employs only those words that were part of the dominant Elizabethan and Jacobean vocabularies in addition to lines, fragments and phrases drawn from Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets. There is, naturally enough, much in the diaries that requires further explanation and Wearing’s ample footnotes are, in that regard, helpful. An overview of Shakespeare’s known activities (of which there are few) and historical timelines precede each chapter, while an extensive introduction offers much fuller factual material, extended references to the plays and other additional details. . . . the depth of Wearing’s scholarship is admirable.” Heidi Maier.
Bernard Shaw and Nancy Astor:

“What a splendid sequence of letters . . . The pertinent and concise annotations–extremely well done by J. P. Wearing-resemble lively stage directions. . . . Wearing’s annotations are so thorough he notes that Violet Pond is interviewed in the supplement to the DVD edition of an otherwise abysmally bad film, Gosford Park.”- John A. Bertolini, English Literature in Transition.
“Wearing’s fine introduction offers a balanced assessment of the Shaw/Astor relationship, his headnotes provide the necessary sociopolitical context, and his annotations are scrupulously researched . . . Although only glimpses of [her] paradoxical temperament emerge in Astor’s few surviving letters to Shaw (who may have destroyed the others himself), Wearing skillfully completes her portrait from biographies and autobiographies, diaries and letters, personal accounts by Astor family members (in particular her niece, actress Joyce Grenfell), and other sources. One is left with the impression that if Shaw did not succeed in outrunning his feminine tornado, it was not through lack of will, but rather because he was drawn to a ‘vigor, vitality, and cheek’ (Shavian trademarks!) that left him ‘far from indifferent.'”-Michel W. Pharand, SHAW The Annual of Bernard Shaw Studies.

The London Stage: A Calendar of Plays and Players:
“If nothing else, these books prove that London was, is, and always will be the theatre capital of the world. They also represent a mind-boggling amount of research by their author, for whom I have nothing but praise and admiration…no one interested in theatre history can be without these volumes. . . . various indexes provide for easy access…Anyone researching the career of a film personality who made occasional British stage appearances cannot afford to be without this volume- and, of course, it is an absolute “must” for students and scholars of the theater. “– CLASSIC IMAGES

“…a major reference source. “– ARBA

“Scrupulous and superb. “– BALLET REVIEW

“Wearing’s calendars are important contributions to scholarship, providing the raw material for work in social and cultural history…Good scholarship and good browsing for all. “– CHOICE

“…so chocked full of information American performing arts researchers should be aware of it even if they think the London stage has nothing to do with their work. The cultural link between New York and London is so strong, the exchange of performers and productions so common, little else needs to be written about it…monumental ongoing series is one of the best examples I can point to of how modern theatrical research should be done. There’s no better source for the London Stage… “– THE BIG REEL

“Future editors and theatre historians will find an indispensable reference work in… The London Stage…”– THE YEAR’S WORK IN ENGLISH STUDIES

“…Remarkably complete and easy to use…. A rich source of factual information…A fascinating overview of a decade’s theatrical activity. “– THEATRE SURVEY

“…a major reference work for our century. . . . Wearing’s latest addition shows no signs of faltering. His extraordinary project is quietly turning into a major reference work for our century…. It is inconceivable that the entire series… will not be on the shelves of college and university reference rooms. “– LITERARY RESEARCH
“The historian of taste will find a vast reservoir of raw data here. The theatre historian has been given the freedom of a decade, and will know how to use it. It remains for the reviewer only to applaud the encyclopedic industry of Dr. Wearing and the resourcefulness with which he has tackled a problem whose scale is so vast. And now we can look forward to the 1930’s. “– COMPARATIVE DRAMA

“Provides a wealth of detail…Should be purchased for in-depth theater or English literature collections. “– REFERENCE BOOKS BULLETIN

“This installment covers a very fertile decade of the theater…Wearing’s series is an essential tool for scholarly study of British theater. “– WILSON LIBRARY BULLETIN

G.B. Shaw: An Annotated Bibliography of Writings About Him:

“For the long period it covers, G. B. Shaw is the prime source of published material on Shaw, from major books to hundreds upon hundreds of one- or two-page notices and reviews in several languages. Its chronological arrangement, combined with the scope of its coverage and its annotations, give it the enduring quality of being the very best research tool for tracing the evolution of critical and popular reactions to Shaw and his plays . . . G. B. Shaw is a vast storehouse of references to the full range of Shaw material (except for works by Shaw).”-Charles A. Carpenter, SHAW The Annual of Bernard Shaw Studies