A Book of the Play, Vol. 1 of 1

Dutton Cook


A Book of the Play, Vol. 1 of 1 - Dutton Cook

Excerpt from A Book of the Play, Vol. 1 of 1: Studies and Illustrations and Histrionic Story, Life, and Character

This book, as I explained in the preface to its first edition, published in 1876, is designed to serve and entertain those interested in the transaction of the Theatre. I have not pretended to set forth anew a formal and complete History of the Stage; it has rather been my object to traverse by-paths connected with the subject - to collect and record certain details and curiosities of histrionic life and character, past and present, which have escaped or seemed unworthy the notice of more ambitious and absolute chronicles. At most I would have these pages considered as but portions of the story of the British Theatre whispered from the side-wings.

Necessarily, the work is derived from many sources, owes much to previous labours, is the result of considerable searching here and there, collation, and selection. I have endeavoured to make acknowledgement, as opportunity occurred, of the authorities I stand indebted to, for this fact or that story. I desire, however, to make express mention of the frequent aid I have received from Mr. J. Payne Collier's admirable "History of English Dramatic Poetry" (1831), containing Annals of the Stage to the Restoration. Mr. Collier, having enjoyed access to many public and private collections of information concerning our Dramatic Literature amassed by Malone, Stevens, Reed, and Chalmers.

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