History as Theatrical Metaphor

History, Myth and National Identities in Modern Scottish Drama

Authors: Brown, Ian

  • Provides the first monograph focused specifically on the Scottish history play
  • Leads the field in Scottish theatre studies with comprehensive and up to date coverage of a variety of plays
  • Casts new light on the key themes and major issues raised by the writers of these plays
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Buy this book

eBook £56.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-47336-3
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover £72.00
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-47335-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This revelatory study explores how Scottish history plays, especially since the 1930s, raise issues of ideology, national identity, historiography, mythology, gender and especially Scottish language. Covering topics up to the end of World War Two, the book addresses the work of many key figures from the last century of Scottish theatre, including Robert McLellan and his contemporaries, and also Hector MacMillan, Stewart Conn, John McGrath, Donald Campbell, Bill Bryden, Sue Glover, Liz Lochhead, Jo Clifford, Peter Arnott, David Greig, Rona Munro and others often neglected or misunderstood.

Setting these writers’ achievements in the context of their Scottish and European predecessors, Ian Brown offers fresh insights into key aspects of Scottish theatre. As such, this represents the first study to offer an overarching view of historical representation on Scottish stages, exploring the nature of ‘history’ and ‘myth’ and relating these afresh to how dramatists use – and subvert – them.

Engaging and accessible, this innovative book will attract scholars and students interested in history, ideology, mythology, theatre politics and explorations of national and gender identity.

About the authors

Emeritus Professor in Drama at Kingston University, UK, and Honorary Senior Research Fellow at Glasgow University, Ian Brown’s previous posts include Dean of Arts, Queen Margaret University, and Drama Director, Arts Council of Great Britain. Published widely on theatre history and cultural matters, he is a playwright and poet.

Reviews

“The most critically engaged look at the history of Scottish drama from the eighteenth century to the present day.” (Gerard Carruthers, Francis Hutcheson Chair of Scottish Literature, University of Glasgow, UK)

“This book offers an insightful discussion of how dramatists treat historical and mythic material, and a comprehensive survey of the specific approaches of Scottish playwrights, past and present. Brown's analyses of individual texts are both judicious and fair.” (David Hutchinson, Visiting Professor in Media Policy, Glasgow Caledonian University, UK)

“The major strength of this important and lively new book is Ian Brown’s encyclopaedic knowledge of the rich and diverse theatrical culture of Scotland, combined with his understanding of wider European traditions and his experience as a playwright. This combination enables him to trace genealogies, offer comparative commentary and it facilitates a deep understanding of the ideological consequences of themes, myths, language, dramaturgy and theatrical strategies. Focusing on leading Scottish playwrights including David Greig, Liz Lochhead, John McGrath, Robert McLellan and Rona Munro, Brown explores how they have created plays that draw attention to competing versions of history, marginalised histories and the potential to revision history as a way of engaging in debates around such themes as power, independence, gender and the past and future of the Scottish nation.” (Nadine Holdsworth, Professor of Theatre and Performance, Warwick University, UK)

“Ian Brown has written an excellent book about the infinite adaptability of history. He opened my eyes to a world of pre-20th century Scottish drama of which I was only dimly aware. He also writes about more familiar figures, from Barrie and Bridie to Lochhead and Munro with a scholarly brio that demonstrates their ability to find a metaphor for the present in the past. I learned a massive amount from Ian Brown's informed intelligence.” (Michael Billington, the Guardian theatre critic)

Table of contents (9 chapters)

  • Playwrights and History

    Brown, Ian

    Pages 1-29

  • History, Mythology, and ‘Re-Presentation’ of Events

    Brown, Ian

    Pages 31-55

  • Language, Ideology, and Identity

    Brown, Ian

    Pages 57-73

  • The Creation of a ‘Missing’ Tradition: Robert McLellan and His Contemporaries

    Brown, Ian

    Pages 75-118

  • Revealing Hidden Histories: Seven Changing Perspectives

    Brown, Ian

    Pages 119-147

Buy this book

eBook £56.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-47336-3
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover £72.00
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-47335-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
History as Theatrical Metaphor
Book Subtitle
History, Myth and National Identities in Modern Scottish Drama
Authors
Copyright
2016
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-47336-3
DOI
10.1057/978-1-137-47336-3
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-47335-6
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVI, 247
Topics