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A Book About the Theater by Brander Matthews

_Books by Brander Matthews_

BIOGRAPHIES

Shakspere as a Playwright Moliere, His Life and His Works

ESSAYS AND CRITICISMS

French Dramatists of the 19th Century Pen and Ink, Essays on subjects of more or less importance Aspects of Fiction, and other Essays The Historical Novel, and other Essays Parts of Speech, Essays on English The Development of the Drama Inquiries and Opinions The American of the Future, and other Essays Gateways to Literature, and other Essays On Acting A Book About the Theater

A BOOK ABOUT THE THEATER

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LE BALLET DE LA REINE

A FRENCH COURT BALLET IN THE EARLY SEVENTEENTH CENTURY

A BOOK ABOUT THE THEATER

BY BRANDER MATTHEWS

PROFESSOR OF DRAMATIC LITERATURE IN COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY; MEMBER OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF ARTS AND LETTERS

[Illustration]

NEW YORK CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS 1916

COPYRIGHT, 1916, BY CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS

Published October, 1916

[Illustration]

TO AUGUSTUS THOMAS

MY DEAR AUGUSTUS:

Let me begin by confessing my regret that I cannot overhear your first remark when you receive this sheaf of essays, many of which are devoted to the subordinate subdivisions of the art of the stage. As it is, I can only imagine your surprise at discovering that this book, which contains papers dealing with certain aspects of the theater rarely considered to be worthy of criticism, is signed by the occupant of the earliest chair to be established in any American university specifically for the study of dramatic literature. I fancy I can hear the expression of your wonder that a sexagenarian professor should turn aside from his austere analysis of the genius of Sophocles and of Shakspere, of Moliere and of Ibsen, to discuss the minor arts of the dancer and the acrobat, to chatter about the conjurer and the negro minstrel, to consider the principles of pantomime and the development of scene-painting. But I am emboldened to hope that your surprise will be only momentary, and that you will be moved to acknowledge that perhaps there may be some advantage to be derived from these deviations into the by-paths of stage history.


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