A Dictionary of Stage Directions in English Drama 1580-1642

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This Dictionary, the first of its kind, defines and explains over 900 terms found in the stage directions of English professional plays from the 1580s to the early 1640s. The terms are drawn primarily from surviving printed and manuscript sources, and from the plays performed on the London stage, by both minor and major dramatists. The authors draw on a database of over 22,000 stage directions drawn from around 500 such plays. Each entry offers a definition, gives examples of how the term is used, cites additional instances, and gives cross-references to other relevant entries. Terms defined range from the obvious and common to the obscure and rare, including actions, places, objects, sounds and descriptions. The authors have also provided a user's guide and an introduction which describes the scope and rationale of the volume. This will be an indispensable work of reference for scholars, historians, directors and actors.