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Bernard Shaw and His Contemporaries

The Case for Terence Rattigan, Playwright

Authors: Bertolini, John A.

  • One of the first book-length critical studies of Rattigan's work
  • Offers comprehensive analyses of all of Rattigan's plays written for the stage
  • Contextualizes Rattigan's work in the broader history of playwright tradition
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eBook $69.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-40997-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $99.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-40996-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This book asserts the extraordinary quality of mid-twentieth century playwright Terence Rattigan’s dramatic art and its basis in his use of subtext, implication, and understatement. By discussing every play in chronological order, the book also articulates the trajectory of Rattigan’s darkening vision of the human potential for happiness from his earlier comedies through his final plays in which death appears as a longed for peace. New here is the exploration through close analysis of Rattigan’s style of writing dialogue and speeches, and how that style expresses Rattigan’s sense of life. Likewise, the book newly examines how Rattigan draws on sources in Greek and Roman history, literature, and myth, as well as how he invites comparison with the work of other playwrights, especially Bernard Shaw and Shakespeare. It will appeal broadly to college and university students studying dramatic literature, but also and especially to actors and directors, and the play-going, play-reading public.

About the authors

John A. Bertolini teaches Dramatic Literature, Shakespeare and Film at Middlebury College in Vermont, USA. He holds the Ellis Chair in English and the Liberal Arts. He has written The Playwrighting Self of Bernard Shaw, edited Shaw and Other Playwrights, introduced and annotated two volumes of Shaw’s plays for Barnes & Noble, as well as written articles on Hitchcock, Renaissance Drama, and American Drama.

Reviews

“There is much illuminating textual analysis here - of career-spanning dramatic techniques (the use of letters, the silent reappear­ance of characters), for instance, and the development of two classic Rattigan set-ups: father-son conflict, and a woman's love for a younger man. Bertolini is precise in unpicking Rattigan's verbal strategies, such as the use of qualifiers, as well as how his characters echo one another’s statements, and in doing so reveal new, painful meanings. This is especially perceptive and detailed.” (Holly Williams, TLS The Times Literary Supplement, the-tls.co.uk, March, 2017)


“Terence Rattigan was among the most successful British playwrights of the modern era – a master of comedy as well as tragedy.  He is so incredibly good it should come as no surprise that a significant revival has been underway for some time.  In fact, Rattigan has been slowly achieving a permanent place of esteem in the essential repertoire of twentieth century dramatists.  And that place will be bolstered by this brilliant comprehensive study of the playwright’s art by John A. Bertolini.  His book is a pleasure to read:  elegantly written, persistently intelligent, and lucid, and it does exactly what it promises:  makes a case for Rattigan.” (Jay Parini, D.E.Axinn Professor of English, Middlebury College, USA)

Table of contents (14 chapters)

  • Introduction: Terence Rattigan’s Art of Understatement and Implication

    Bertolini, John A.

    Pages 1-15

  • French Without Tears: Rattigan’s Shavian Inheritance

    Bertolini, John A.

    Pages 17-37

  • After the Dance: Slow Suicide and Quick

    Bertolini, John A.

    Pages 39-49

  • Flare Path: Trapped Words as Mines

    Bertolini, John A.

    Pages 51-61

  • The Winslow Boy: Let Right Be Done

    Bertolini, John A.

    Pages 63-79

Buy this book

eBook $69.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-40997-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $99.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-40996-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Case for Terence Rattigan, Playwright
Authors
Series Title
Bernard Shaw and His Contemporaries
Copyright
2016
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-40997-9
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-40997-9
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-40996-2
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XII, 229
Topics