Friday, March 2, 2018 at 10:00am to 12:00pm
Huntington Library, Seaver Classroom 1-2 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA
"Charles Macklin, the '45, and the Opportunity of History"
David O'Shaughnessy's paper considers the first play authored by actor Charles Macklin (1699?-1797). Macklin’s historical tragedy Henry VII was performed without success in 1746; however, it has a remarkable backstory. His paper will delineate important antecedents of Henry VII and argue that any consideration of the play as simply a vehicle to make a public statement of his Hanoverian allegiance in the wake of the ’45 is incomplete. Rather, Macklin’s Henry VIIemerges from a rich revisionist Irish historiography of the earlier part of the century and offers itself as not only as a means for reconsidering Macklin as a representative figure of the Irish Enlightenment but as an important way-point in the trajectory of eighteenth-century Irish drama, too often reduced to the genre of comedy.
David O’Shaughnessy is associate professor of eighteenth-century studies at the School of English, Trinity College Dublin. He has published widely on eighteenth-century theatre history, most recently on Irish playwrights based in London. He is currently based at the Huntington Library as a Marie Curie Global Fellow.