1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 25, 2006
Please have the decency to ignore the pseudonymous "Piers Dowell" review of this book, since he clearly hasn't read it!
He lambasts the "writer John A. Alford" for both his style and content, when in fact Professor Alford is not the writer of this book, but its Editor. The book does not have a single author, and it is totally incorrect to suggest that the style or content is uniformly good or bad. This book is a collection of 22 essays by various scholars in the field of Medieval Drama, mostly relating to performance both past and present. Alford himself wrote only one essay in the book, and I can't find fault with it and I see nothing of "arrogance" or "conceit". Not all the essays are spectacular, but the book itself contains valuable scholarship about a growing field that really took off in the 1990s. This book is not dated though it's from 1995.
I don't know what grudge "Mr Dowell" has against Professor Alford, but he clearly enjoys venting his bitterness online without any regard for factual accuracy. Please, readers, don't be put off by his bad example.
This book is probably best for university-level students of medieval drama or those studying the history of English theatre generally. It is a useful addition to performance studies, covers a wide range of texts and materials, and has some very interesting and new things to say about drama. It is probably not of interest to the general reader who has little familiarity with the subject.
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 7, 2006
I would be loathe to discuss what kind of writer John A. Alford is, but apparently he has no idea either. Typical of Alford's writing, it is full of self congratulations, yet dry as an old tree. All that is here is arrogance, conceit, and a voice with little more talent than the teacher he apparently was. It is of little value to those whose real interests lie in Early English Drama, and it is of little interest to those who may simply be curious. A waste of paper, a waste of time, and ultimately a wasted effort, or his part and on mine for wading through its deeply purple periodic prose. Alford would have produced more if he had outlined his faults, which are many, and then tossed the said list into the fire.