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Shakespeare in the Restoration Theater:
"Staging" Assignments

Heather King


1. Most readers of Digital Defoe: Studies in Defoe & His Contemporaries are doubtless familiar with this text; if not, the subtitle explains it all: The London Stage 1660–1800; a calendar of plays, entertainments & afterpieces, together with casts, box-receipts and contemporary comment. Compiled from the playbills, newspapers and theatrical diaries of the period.

2. The by-now standard "writing to learn" pedagogy in composition owes much to the seminal work of Janet Emig (see The Composing Processes of Twelfth Graders). Crosswhite has documented the temporary deficits in students' writing when they are struggling with new content or concepts, especially 272–74. Thanks to my colleague, Claudia Ingram, for her help in locating precise sources for these concepts.

3. This assignment was inspired by a talk I heard Rob Hume give at the Huntington Library series "Redefining British Theatre History." It is available in published form as "Theatre History 1660–1800: Aims, Materials, Methodology," in Cordner and Holland 9–44.

4. Fittingly, it was a student who brought this partial online edition to my attention. See Robert Hume’s personal web page:

5. Useful sources of essays by Samuel Johnson, Alexander Pope, John Dryden and others include English Shakespearian Criticism in the Eighteenth Century, Eighteenth Century Essays on Shakespeare, and Women Critics 1660–1820.


Cordner, Michael, and Peter Holland, eds. Players, Playwrights, Playhouses: Investigating Performance, 1660–1800. Houndmills: Palgrave, 2007. Print.

Crosswhite, James. The Rhetoric of Reason: Writing and the Attractions of Argument. Madison: U of Wisconsin P, 1996. Print.

Dobson, Michael. The Making of the National Poet: Shakespeare, Adaptation, and Authorship, 1660–1769. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1992. Print.

Downer, Alan. "Nature to Advantage Dressed: Eighteenth-Century Acting." Restoration Drama: Modern Essays and Criticism. Ed. John Loftis. New York: Oxford UP, 1966. Print.

Emig, Janet. The Composing Processes of Twelfth Graders. Urbana, IL: NCTE, 1971. Print.

Folger Collective on Early Women Critics, eds. Women Critics 1660–1820: An Anthology. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1995. Print.

Milhous, Judith, and Robert D. Hume, eds. The London Stage, 1660–1800: A New Version of Part 2, 1700–1729. Web.

Robinson, Herbert Spencer, ed. English Shakespearian Criticism in the Eighteenth Century. New York:  H.W. Wilson Company, 1932. Print.

Smith, David Nichol, ed. Eighteenth Century Essays on Shakespeare. Oxford: Clarendon, 1963. Print.

Van Lennep, William et al., eds., The London Stage. 5 parts in 11 vols. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1960–68. Print.


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