The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0887 Saturday, 7 October 2006
Date: Wednesday, 04 Oct 2006 10:30:45 -0500
Subject: 17.0868 Actors Connected with Shakespeare
Comment: Re: SHK 17.0868 Actors Connected with Shakespeare
Anne Cuneo wrote:
>I strongly recommend:
>T.W. Baldwin The Organization and Personnel of the Shakespearean
>T.W.Baldwin has done a thorough job, and tries to answer precisely the
questions asked by Roy Flannagan. I have used his research extensively.
Unfortunately, I cannot remember which library I borrowed the book from,
and have just as foolishly not registered where it was published, only
when the book has been reprinted, or republished, in New York, in 1961,
there is a copy in the Swiss Central Library, so I suppose there are
copies in many American ones.
Actually, I wouldn't put too much stock in Baldwin's book. For one
thing, he was writing in the late 1920s, and a ton of new biographical
information has been discovered about these players since then. For
another thing, almost all of the roles Baldwin assigned to specific
players were based on speculation -- some of it reasonable, but much of
it more dubious, and some of it now demonstrably wrong. Baldwin's
assumption that each actor had a "line" of very similar characters that
he played over the years has often been challenged, most notably by
Skiles Howard, "A Reconsideration of Baldwin's Theory of Acting Lines",
Theatre Survey 26 (1985), 1. There's some good stuff in Baldwin, but
unless you know enough to separate the wheat from the chaff yourself, I
would treat anything he says with a very large grain of salt unless you
can confirm it elsewhere.
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