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The Browning Version Paperback – 24 Nov 1994

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--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Nick Hern Books; New edition edition (24 Nov. 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1854592025
  • ISBN-13: 978-1854592026
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 13.2 x 1.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,338,500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

A play of extraordinary depth, compassion and psychological perception. --Daily Telegraph

Packs more truths about the human condition into 70 minutes than most other dramas could manage in a month. --Evening Standard

An acknowleged one-act masterpiece...A surefire hit that always touches the heart. --Guardian

A masterpiece of understated passions...Rattigan's play rests on feelings felt but unwillingly spoken...In little over an hour, Rattigan's superbly plotted drama gracefully navigates the quiet desperation of his characters' lives with Chekhovian power...This well-crafted evening of repression and self-expression proves there's a great deal more to schoolday behavior than dreamed of in The History Boys. --Variety --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Terence Rattigan (1911-1977) hit the jackpot at the age of 25 with French Without Tears. There followed After The Dance, The Winslow Boy, The Browning Version, Separate Tables, The Deep Blue Sea and In Praise of Love. All are published in the Definitive Edition of the plays of Terence Rattigan from NHB. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 Jan. 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a great great play. A miniature masterpiece of restraint, suppressed emotion and tempestuous love. Set in a schoolmaster's room, it's been filmed twice, revived many times, a real classic where every line seethes with subtlety and ambiguity. Emotionally rich and raw. Extraordinary. One of the great British plays of the twentieth century.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 Sept. 2001
Format: Paperback
There is a fine balance to be achieved in every person's life. It is the decision of every individual to qualify where their balance lies. There are webs of imperfection, extremity, veiled truth and self-deceit that are slowly, carefully and brilliantly unwoven by a craftsman at his very best.
The setting of a boy's public school is pertinent and relevant with regards to the way characters connect with each other. It is equally powerful when you understand that these personalities exist, love, loathe and manipulate each other in every corner of society. Need, emptiness and grief are universal.
This is a subtle, devastating play. If you believe King Lear contains hope, then you will also be able to spot it at the end of this play as well.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Garrett on 2 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback
Nuanced, beautiful writing, and character analysis that is ruthless, real and aching with loss. In my view, the play seems to be portraying a character who is the underdog, and yet saying that there is great strength in that; perhaps it takes greater strength to always put the needs of others first, to allow your own feelings to be ignored, and this is certainly what he does in the way that he responds to his wife's needs. It is also detectable that, in his stirring final speech to the school, that he has always put his pupils before him, and yet has interpreted their fearful respect of him as a failure on his part.

The students give him a standing ovation. We are perhaps supposed to think that he has been a 'good' teacher after all. However, being a teacher myself, this moment always leaves me with an uncomfortable feeling: I have found that all students, almost without exception, like Taplow, wish their teachers well. Contrary to popular stereotype, teenagers are without the cynical streak that adults are so often burdened with. I wonder if the students' applause is sympathy rather than true respect, however. They feel for him, but does that mean that he was actually any good, or was he really the monster that he believes himself to be? I like to think that his damning self-evaluation is wrong and that it is in his very lack of complacency, and self-critical outlook, that suggests he was, after all, an inspiring teacher.

In the 1994 adaptation, Albert Finney's performance of this superbly subtle play is stunning. It has me in tears every time. It is my favourite film!

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Chris on 3 Aug. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
'Classic' is a term used too often these days to describe films, books, plays and television. The Browning Version, however, can truly be said to warrant such an accolade. It was written in the late 1940s and is still relevant today examining, as it does, human relationships, betrayal and sadness. Whilst other plays of this period (and even later) have come to be regarded as having little to say to a modern audience The Browning Version is still capable of evoking an emotional reaction today. It may be set in the rarefied atmosphere of a public school but it's themes are universal and it's poignancy will be felt by anyone capable of empathy or who has an ounce of sensitivity in their being.

The play is not without sentiment but it is not 'sentimental' as (say for the sake of argument) is Goodby Mr. Chips.

This is quite a short play, perhaps one hour fifteen minutes running time. Anyone interested in theatre should find this excellently written play worthwhile.
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