The History of the English Puppet Theatre, Second Edition (Hardcover)
A welcome reissue, revised and updated, of the classic work on the English puppet theatre, this detailed and lavishly illustrated book, first published in 1955, shows why puppet theatre in England developed along different lines from that on the Continent, and brings the story up to the television age.
In 1938, at the age of 24, George Speaight left his job as a bookseller and went to work as a farmhand at Pigotts, the family settlement of Eric Gill and his group of artist-craftsworkers in Buckinghamshire. While there, Speaight decided to write a history of Punch and Judy. The project grew, and during the Second World War he spent his nights working in the Auxiliary Fire Service and his days at the British Museum Reading Room researching Punch and puppets. This book is the result of all his research.
George Speaight has also written books on the toy theatre, clowns, the circus, and the collection of theatrical memorabilia. He is a past chairman of the Society for Theatre Research, a vice-president of the British Puppet and Model Theatre Guild, and a member of honor of the Union Internationale de Ia Marionnette.
"Mr. Speaight knows well the literature of his subject, and he has a lively, colorful style, and his book contains many rare and delightful illustrations…Speaight brings the general history of puppets down into the twentieth century."—James C. McManaway, Shakespeare Quarterly