The Sovereign Flower: On Shakespeare as the Poet of Royalism, Together with Related Essays and Indexes to Earlier Volumes

The Sovereign Flower: On Shakespeare as the Poet of Royalism, Together with Related Essays and Indexes to Earlier Volumes

The Sovereign Flower: On Shakespeare as the Poet of Royalism, Together with Related Essays and Indexes to Earlier Volumes

The Sovereign Flower: On Shakespeare as the Poet of Royalism, Together with Related Essays and Indexes to Earlier Volumes

Excerpt

This is the last, and likely to remain the last, of my Shakespearian studies. The five main volumes form a set, with The Mutual Flame as a pendant. Indexes to this, and the other four volumes, are included, on a system explained below, (p. 295) by Dr Patricia Ball. My Principles of Shakespearian Production stands rather outside this sequence, being in a different vein. First published in 1936 by Messrs Faber & Faber, it was reissued in 1949 by Penguin Books, and is at present out of print: it will, I hope, eventually be reissued, perhaps with some additions.

The composition of this final volume caused some trouble. The first intention was to start with a narrative account of my work during the war on Shakespeare and the Nation, and to follow with the original text of The Olive and the Sword, as published in 1944 by the Oxford University Press. It was, however, considered by my advisers that so much war-time material would be out of place in a contemporary publication, and I have accordingly started with The Olive and the Sword under the title 'This Sceptred Isle', giving it new introductory and concluding sections, and removing references which might appear inapposite today. The new title had already been used for a 1940 booklet, and later for my various lecture-recitals culminating in the Westminster Theatre production of 1941; but its present use is reasonable, since from the start it has served as a generic title for this strand in my work. The 'narrative account' of my various war-time publications and recitals (of which some of the concluding passages are duplicated on pages 273-9 below) is now lodged, in typescript, under the title A Royal Propaganda in the British Museum and also in the Shakespeare Memorial Library of the Birmingham Reference Library. For the rest, I have remained content to supplement the statement of my first chapter by what is covered by Appendixes A, B and C. The general result is to shift the emphasis . . .

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