Peter Kanelos

The Shakespeare Revolution Redux

J. L. Styan, The Shakespeare Revolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977

When recently I had occasion to turn back to Shakespeare’s Globe: A Theatrical Experiment, a very useful retrospective look at the first ten years of Shakespeare’s Globe in London, edited by Christie Carson and Farah Karim-Cooper, there was a niggling something in the back of mind that would not go away, a lacuna or absence that I could not quite place. Then, by chance, one afternoon, as I was sorting through piles of books that had been left behind by a colleague and which were meant to be catalogued for our department’s resource library, I found J. L. Styan’s Shakespeare’s Stagecraft, a paperback, yellowed copy, crumbling along its edges, at the top of a stack. Suddenly it clicked – it was Styan who was missing from the many essays and conversations recorded in Shakespeare’s Globe. I turned back to the index in Carson and Karim-Cooper’s volume and found only a single, ghostly remnant of the man who had articulated and defined, through his 1977 work, The Shakespeare Revolution, the very movement that had made the construction of the new Globe possible, and who had himself been one of the prime movers in the Globe project.

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