Nineteenth-Century Stage Adaptations of the Works of Sir Walter Scott on the Scottish Stage: 1810-1900

Bell, Barbara Alexandra Erskine (1991) Nineteenth-Century Stage Adaptations of the Works of Sir Walter Scott on the Scottish Stage: 1810-1900. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This study sets out to prove the thesis that the dramas derived from the writings of Sir Walter Scott enjoyed a far more complex relationship with the nineteenth-century Scottish theatre than has been formerly supposed. It challenges the accepted view of these dramas as simply being more "popular" in Scotland and in so doing it creates an extensive listing of performances of 'Scott' dramas on the nineteenth-century Scottish stage, structured in such a way as to isolate and illuminate the position of the plays in the overall nineteenth-century theatrical repertoire. The study is divided into four chapters, with three large and three small Appendixes, in three volumes. Chapter 1 is a Review of the Critical Literature which traces the path of scholarly thinking on the subject to date and identifies areas of difficulty, caused in many cases by the reliance of scholars on subjective source materials. Chapter 2, the Methodology, sets out a solution to the problem of the source materials which bases the model of the 'Scott' dramas on the nineteenth-century Scottish stage on a concrete foundation of statistical information taken from the surviving playbills of the period. The section then outlines the techniques which will be employed to handle and process the information from thousands of playbills and introduces the two 'controls' - the Henderson/Waverley (Appendix 3) and Henderson/Scottish (Appendix 4), collections of bills. Chapter 3 is the Main Catalogue Listing containing 3605 entries for 'Scott' drama, which is bound separately as Volume 2. Chapter 4 is the Breakdown and Analysis which compares and contrasts the contents of the Main Catalogue Listing with Appendixes 3 and 4 focussing, in separate sections, on The National Drama pre-Scott; the Development of the 'Scott' dramas; a textual comparison of adaptations of The Heart of Mid-Lothian seen in parallel with its stage history; the theatrical history of plays from Rob Roy, Guy Mannering, The Abbot and The Bride of Lammermoor; a breakdown of coded information contained in the entries, covering management techniques and audience attitudes revealed in such items as the use of the 'Scott' dramas for benefits, in compressed or truncated versions, patronage, the investment of money in new scenery, the presence and usage of guest artists. The 'Scott' dramas are revealed to have had a complex and highly specialised place in the nineteenth-century Scottish theatre. The Conclusion briefly considers the implications of the study for future research in the area.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Adviser: Ian MacDonald
Keywords: Theater history
Date of Award: 1991
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1991-75374
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2019 20:23
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2019 20:23

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