Book review: Theatric revolution: drama, censorship and romantic period subcultures 1773–1832

Poole, Robert ORCID logo ORCID: (2007) Book review: Theatric revolution: drama, censorship and romantic period subcultures 1773–1832. Reviews in History, 2007 .

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At the centre of David Worrall’s Theatric Revolution a striking tableau is unveiled. It is around 1800, and we are at a private party in London, attended by leading Whigs including the playwright-politician Sheridan. The arrival of a surprise guest is announced, and curtains are drawn back to reveal a cleverly-lit female figure on a pedestal, ‘feigning a statue’. An electric ripple of recognition runs round the room: it is Caroline, estranged wife of the Prince Regent, and she is in the character of Hermione in Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, a wronged queen turned to stone by a jealous king. From hollow marriage to staged funeral, Caroline’s public career was a series of benefit performances. In 1821, after her return to England as would-be queen, Caroline scooped the carefully-laid publicity for her husband’s coronation by acting as patron of the Royal Coburg theatre, an illegitimate theatre named after Caroline’s son-in-law, Prince Leopold of Saxe Coburg, which paraded an alternative-version royal theatricality from the unruly south bank of the Thames. Worrall’s central chapter brilliantly recovers a lost side of the Queen Caroline affair, tracing through this one absorbing episode the roots and branches of the theatrical political culture of later-Georgian England.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: Reviews in History
Publisher: University of London, Institute of Historical Research
ISSN: 1749-8155
Departments: Academic Departments > Institute of Arts (IOA) > Humanities
Depositing User: Insight Administrator
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2010 11:41
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2024 19:46


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