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A Cultural History of Comedy

A Cultural History of Comedy

How has our expression, use and reception of comedy developed from antiquity to the present day? What role has it occupied in Western culture, and what can it tell us about how society has changed?

In a work that spans 2,500 years, these ambitious questions are addressed by 55 experts, each contributing their overview of a theme applied to a period in history. The volumes describe various manifestations of comedy, its use in religion, theatre and literature, and its historical and philosophical significance.

Individual volume editors ensure the cohesion of the whole, and to make it as easy as possible to use, chapter titles are identical across each of the volumes. This gives the choice of reading about a specific period in one of the volumes, or following a theme across history by reading the relevant chapter in each of the six.

The six volumes cover: 1. - Antiquity (500 BCE - 1000 AD); 2. - Middle Ages (1000 - 1400); 3. - Early Modern Age (1400 - 1650) ; 4. - Age of Enlightenment (1650 - 1800); 5. - Age of Empire (1800 - 1920); 6. - Modern Age (1920 - present).

Themes (and chapter titles) are: Form; Theory; Praxis; Identities; The Body; Politics and Power; Laughter; and Ethics.

The page extent is approximately 1,824pp with c. 250 illustrations. Each volume opens with Notes on Contributors, a series preface and an introduction, and concludes with Notes, Bibliography and an Index.

The Cultural Histories Series
A Cultural History of Comedy is part of The Cultural Histories Series. Titles are available both as printed hardcover sets for libraries needing just one subject or preferring a one-off purchase and tangible reference for their shelves, or as part of a fully-searchable digital library available to institutions by annual subscription or on perpetual access (see www.bloomsburyculturalhistory.com).
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