“The Dramatic Poet and the Unpoetic Multitudes”: Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Allegorized Theatrical Commentary in Book IV of Aurora Leigh ANNA WILLIAMS n an introductory note to the published papers of Manchester University’s I1970 Victorian theater symposium, editors Kenneth Richards and Peter Thomson encapsulate the current state of this critical field and accurat-ely pre dict its f uture, stating, “It is still fairly respectable to know nothing about the nineteenth c -entury theatre, but it seems unlikely tha w t i ill b t e so for long.” As they foresaw, the coming d ca edes witnessed a resurgence of interest in the per for mances of the nineteent c he -ntury stage— a justie fi d reprisal that has i-n vited the Victorians’ own theatrical commentary back into the criti-cal spot light. In one such con temporary moment of theatrical criticism, Elizabeth Barrett (EBB) remarks on the current state of the “translation” of dramatic works for the Victorian stage in an 1842 letter to her cond fi ante, the dramatist and fellow poet Mary Russell Mitford: In regard to the drama, I have been to the thea I h tre a— ve seen Shake - speare in London— but
Victorian Poetry – West Virginia University Press
Published: Feb 23, 2018
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