By Elaine M. McGirr
This publication explores the a number of portrayals of the actor and theatre supervisor Colley Cibber, king of the dunces, specialist fop, defacer of
Shakespeare and the tough and unforgiving father of Charlotte Charke. But
these pix of Cibber are doubly partial, exposing while they paper over
gaps and biases within the archive whereas reflecting again sleek wishes and
methodologies. The Colley Cibber ‘everybody understands’ has been variously
constructed during the upward thrust of English literature as either a cultural
enterprise and an instructional self-discipline, a approach which made Shakespeare the
‘nation’s poet’ and canonised Cibber’s enemies Pope and Fielding; theatre
history’s narrative of the delivery of naturalism; and the reclamation and
celebration of Charlotte Charke through women’s literary heritage. every one of these
stories calls for a Colley Cibber to be its butt, antithesis, and/or bête noir. This
monograph demanding situations those partial histories and returns the theatre manager,
playwright, poet laureate and bon viveur to the centre of eighteenth-century
culture and cultural studies.
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Extra info for Partial Histories: A Reappraisal of Colley Cibber
Partial Histories: A Reappraisal of Colley Cibber by Elaine M. McGirr