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Durable Trifles

Alan Powers

University of Greenwich

    The paper will describe the development of toy theatre in England, from 1811 onwards. The Cotsen Children’s Library holds one of the major archival collections of this material which has only recently been made accessible since its acquisition in 1994. The talk will examine attitudes of nostalgia towards this folk art form among writers such as R. L .Stevenson and E. Gordon Craig,and the overlap between its survival in the East End of London into the 1930s and its revival among collectors, with an account of its literature, scholarship, and continuing practice.

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