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Literary Homosociality and the Political Science of the Actor's Closet

Thomas C. Crochunis
Victorian Studies
Vol. 49, No. 2, Papers and Responses from the Fourth Annual Conference of the North American Victorian Studies Association, Held Jointly with the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism Annual Meeting (Winter, 2007), pp. 258-267
Published by: Indiana University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4626283
Page Count: 10
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Literary Homosociality and the Political Science of the Actor's Closet
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Abstract

Attuned to the homosocial tension evident in the relationship between Robert Browning and William Macready, this essay considers the personal politics surrounding Macready's production of Browning's play, A Blot in the 'Scutcheon. The complex financial, aesthetic, and interpersonal reasons for Macready's reluctance to mount Browning's play on the affective complexities of English family honor caused a rupture in the relationship between the two men that exposes the discourses underwriting each man's artistic practice and their tenuous social bonds. The rift between Browning and Macready, aggravated by differing artistic intentions and models of dramaturgy, reveals how the relationships and institutions on which the Victorian theater rested could be disrupted by conflicting stylistic commitments and personal interests.

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