In this creative study of history and popular culture, W. D. King ingeniously illustrates how a long-forgotten instance in theatre history can reveal the very process of historical change itself.
Late in the nineteenth century, Henry Irving, the leading actor-manager of the English stage, was scathingly attacked by George Bernard Shaw for his popular performance in Conan Doyle's play, A Story of Waterloo. Shaw's review was one of the first onslaughts in a war against the old guard of the English stage, against Victorianism, against England and Empire itself. King's depiction of this event and its aftermath illuminates the period's crucial values and cultural issues, and is presented in a manner that is both convincing and highly entertaining.
This title is part of UC Press's Voices Revived program, which commemorates University of California Press’s mission to seek out and cultivate the brightest minds and give them voice, reach, and impact. Drawing on a backlist dating to 1893, Voices Revived makes high-quality, peer-reviewed scholarship accessible once again using print-on-demand technology. This title was originally published in 1993.