Anthony Ellis’s book Old Age, Masculinity, and Early Modern Drama: Comic elders on the Italian and Shakespearean stage was recently reviewed (21st January) in the TLS by Ruth Morse.
From the review:
Anthony Ellis’s comparative study of the way old age is depicted in Italian and English Renaissance comedy has the merits of solid scholarship, linguistic mastery, wide historical and literary reading, and fertile juxtapositions…
…Ellis’s detailed comparisons do the important work of recovering context and variety, and he calls into question some commonly accepted generalizations about Italian comedy, that supposed source of London city comedy. His commedia dell’arte is more complex than has been imagined. He shows the latitude the Italian stage offered its authors, and is especially acute in his juxtaposition of the Florentine political plays by Machiavelli and Gianotti. When he then looks at Venetian comedy, he restores the social circumstances in which plays address the particularities of local politics. This is a book likely to be used for its essays on individual authors, but its success is greater than the sum of its parts.
About the Author: Anthony Ellis is an associate professor of English at Western Michigan University, USA