Shakespeare's Drama

Shakespeare's Drama

Shakespeare's Drama

Shakespeare's Drama


First published in 1980.

This collection of essays by the first General Editor of the New Arden Shakespeare brings together the best of Ellis-Fermor's Shespearean criticism, in addition to outstanding essays on Coriolanus and Troilus and Cressida.

Collected and edited by Kenneth Muir, the book is prefaced by an appreciation of Ellis-Fermor's work.


Una Ellis-Fermor, Hildred Carlisle Professor of English Literature at Bedford College, London, from 1947 until her death in 1958, although best known as a Shakespearian scholar, had wide interests in poetry and drama. She wrote a pioneer book on Marlowe, and standard works on Jacobean Drama and on the Irish Dramatic Movement. Towards the end of her life she translated six of Ibsen’s plays and, as her writings reveal, she was acquainted with Greek drama, Racine and Corneille, and many modern European dramatists. One essay alone refers to twenty-five modern dramatists.

She was the first General Editor of the New Arden Shakespeare and the series owes much of its success to her foresight and planning, and also to her willingness to change her mind when occasion arose. It was originally intended to print the New Arden from the Old, with only the most necessary corrections to the text and notes, but she soon became convinced that such a course was impossible.

In 1948, just as the New Arden Shakespeare was started, Una EllisFermor delivered the Annual Shakespeare Lecture of the British Academy, and this was intended to be the first chapter of a projected book on Shakespeare the Dramatist. When I edited under that title the chapters which had been drafted, I suggested that some of the gaps could be filled by chapters from The Frontiers of Drama. The present volume, therefore, combines the Shakespearian parts of the two books.

1 I am grateful to Harold Brooks and Terence Hawkes for valuable suggestions, most of which I have been able to follow.

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