Conrad’s Drama

Contemporary Reviews and Observations


Volume Editor:
Conrad’s Drama: Contemporary Reviews and Observations collects both book reviews and performance reviews of Conrad’s three plays: The Secret Agent, One Day More, and Laughing Anne. These reviews and observations show how Conrad’s plays were received by his contemporaries. More than this, however, Conrad’s Drama reveals the larger conversations surrounding his plays: the state of British drama in the early 20th century, the role the drama critic has in a play’s reception, and the difficulty most fiction writers experience in trying to write for the stage. No other reference work exists for those studying Conrad’s plays, and this volume should prove to be an indispensable reference work for those working on this topic.

Conrad’s Drama received an Honorable Mention in the Joseph Conrad Society of America’s Adam Gillon Book Prize in Conrad Studies for books published 2018-2020.

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John G. Peters, a University Distinguished Research Professor at the University of North Texas, has published widely on Conrad, including Conrad and Impressionism (2001), The Cambridge Introduction to Joseph Conrad (2007), and Joseph Conrad’s Critical Reception (2013).
"To say that for Conradians Peterson's [sic] edition will be an essential source in their investigation of Conrad’s oeuvre seems an obvious compliment, but it will also be an invaluable tool in the hands of theatre historians and theoreticians, a precious guide to the twentieth-century tensions and discussions on art, aesthetics and sense of humour, as well as on politics. This book makes its readers ponder why Conrad’s plays were appreciated in the States and disregarded in Germany, why the context so vivid to the recalled critics disappears from the contemporality of twenty-first-century perspective, and why the interpretation of the female characters in Conrad’s plays differs so drastically between reviews—ranging from omission and neglect to placing them at the heart of the drama."
- Anna M. Szczepan-Wojnarska, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University, Poland, in Yearbook of Conrad Studies Vol. 14, 2019 pp. 123–124

"John G. Peters has done a brilliant job in collating the reviews and observations of Conrad’s drama, exploring their reception both as works on the page and on the stage. The fact that the volume is over 450 pages long makes us realise how important this ‘obscure’ aspect of Conrad’s oeuvre truly is."
- Richard J. Hand, The Conradian, 2021

"John Peters has meticulously assembled a collection of reviews and observations on Joseph Conrad’s contributions to theatre that will be welcome to scholars and students undertaking investigations in this area and may also deserve the attention of those who contemplate developments and trends in criticism."
- Michael John DiSanto, Joseph Conrad Today, Fall 2021

“[…] this work of extensive criticism and advanced scholarship should be essential reading for any student of Conrad’s drama or early twentieth-century British drama, which every university library should include in their reference section. Most importantly, Peters’s handbook definitely proves that Conrad’s plays should not be put to rest in Davy Jones’s Locker; quite the opposite, it gives food for thought and material for further study.
- Agnieszka Adamowicz-Pośpiech, Conradiana, Spring/Fall 2019, col. 51, no 1/2.
All interested in the plays of Joseph Conrad, the life and works of Joseph Conrad in general, and those interested in British drama of the early 20th century.
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