POPULAR PUPPET THEATRE IN EUROPE, 1800-1914
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Banned, marginalised, tolerated or neglected, puppets were a major form of entertainment of the subordinate classes in the nineteenth century. Showmen travelled from one end of Europe to the other bringing everything from biblical plays to melodramas and variety to audiences who experienced them as their only form of dramatic entertainment. The first study of its kind in English, Popular Puppet Theatre in Europe is less a history than a comparative study, highlighting a significant aspect of social and cultural history from a national and transnational perspective. It examines the showmen, their audiences, the performance context, and the technical and practical aspects of the puppets and their stages.