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The Theatre Career of Thomas Arne Hardcover – 21 Dec 2012

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 644 pages
  • Publisher: University of Delaware Press (21 Dec. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1611494362
  • ISBN-13: 978-1611494365
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 4.4 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,348,695 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


Gilman, a Yale librarian, considers Arne's current musical reputation to be unjustly diminished compared with Handel's and aims to correct the imbalance. Certainly he makes a good case for Arne's importance. Arne was active in the theaters of London and Dublin in the mid-18th century, composing songs and English operas with varying degrees of success and interacting significantly with the London theatrical world, which included his wife (a singer), his sister (an actress), and such well-known figures as David Garrick and Charles Burney--and, less often, Handel. The chronology of Arne's activities is extremely thorough and well documented, covering his entire career. The factual material is dense and reads more easily covering short spans of time than as an overall narrative. Several books on Arne have already been published, but Gilman's is by far the most thorough. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, researchers, faculty CHOICE Make no mistake, a full-length monograph dedicated to Thomas Augustine Arne is long overdue. ... It is a noble gesture to include so much music in the book. ... The book is generally well written and adequately referenced. There is much interesting information (e.g. the story of Arne's uncle Richard, who disappeared in 1735 apparently to avoid standing trial for his part in a brutal gang rape (p. 61)) and it is useful to have it synthesized in one place. Music & Letters Dr. Gilman's book is a superb, in-depth study of a much neglected English master. It's packed with information, terrific music examples and fascinating quotes from Arne's contemporaries. The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, may not know who wrote Rule Britannia but this work will set him right. -- Nicholas McGegan

About the Author

Todd Gilman is librarian for literature in English at Yale University Library.

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although everyone knows Arne's Rule Britannia, and some know his setting of 'Where the bee sucks, there suck I' from Shakespeare's The Tempest, much of his other music for the stage is unjustly neglected. Yes, the quality is uneven, but the copious musical examples in Gilman's book show that Arne at his best was without doubt the leading English composer between Purcell and Elgar.
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