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The Harlequinade An Excursion   By: (1877-1946)

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In "The Harlequinade An Excursion" by Harley Granville-Barker, readers are taken on an intriguing journey through the world of theater and the complexities of human relationships. Set in 19th century England, this play sheds light on the paradoxes of life and art, intertwining themes of love, deceit, and societal expectations.

One of the most compelling aspects of this book is Granville-Barker's masterful portrayal of the theater world. As a playwright himself, he brings a unique perspective to the narrative, delving into the inner workings of a theater troupe and the challenges they face in putting on a successful production. Through vivid descriptions and authentic dialogue, the author skillfully captures the passion, struggles, and camaraderie that define the theatrical realm.

The characters in "The Harlequinade An Excursion" are richly developed, each with their own distinct voice and motivations. From the vibrant and enigmatic Harlequin to the morally conflicted Columbine, the cast of characters brings the story to life. Granville-Barker expertly navigates their relationships, exposing the fragility of human connections and the consequences of deceit.

Furthermore, the themes explored in this book are both thought-provoking and relevant. Granville-Barker explores the role of art in society, questioning its purpose and power to both entertain and enlighten. He challenges societal norms and expectations, questioning the boundaries placed on individuals and the sacrifices they make in order to conform.

The prose in "The Harlequinade An Excursion" is lyrical and evocative, transporting readers to the ornate theaters and bustling streets of 19th century England. Granville-Barker's descriptive prowess lends itself well to the vivid imagery, making the scenes come alive in the reader's imagination.

While the book may not appeal to those unfamiliar with theater or the historical context, for anyone with an interest in drama, this is a must-read. Granville-Barker's deep understanding of the world he writes about shines through, captivating readers and providing a refreshing perspective on both art and life.

In conclusion, "The Harlequinade: An Excursion" is a captivating and thought-provoking book that offers a glimpse into the intricacies of the theater world and the human condition. With its vibrant characters, compelling themes, and exquisite prose, this book is a triumph for both theater enthusiasts and avid readers alike.

First Page:

[Illustration: "And what should Columbine be like? Well, she is just like what you'd most like her to be. She has a rose in her hand."]

The Harlequinade

An Excursion by

Dion Clayton Calthrop and Granville Barker

Published, March, 1918

Just a Word in Your Ear

Not to put too fine a point to it, this isn't a play at all and it isn't a novel, or a treatise, or an essay, or anything like that; it is an excursion, and you who trouble to read it are the trippers.

Now in any excursion you get into all sorts of odd company, and fall into talk with persons out of your ordinary rule, and you borrow a match and get lent a magazine, and, as likely as not, you may hear the whole tragedy and comedy of a ham and beef carver's life. So you will get a view of the world as oddly coloured as Harlequin's clothes, with puffs of sentiment dear to the soul of Columbine, and Clownish fun with Pantaloonish wisdom and chuckles. When you were young, you used, I think, to enjoy a butterfly's kiss; and that, you remember, was when your mother brushed your cheek with her eye lashes. And also when you were young you held a buttercup under other children's chins to see if they liked butter, and they always did, and the golden glow showed and the world was glad. And you held a shell to your ear to hear the sound of the sea, and when it rained, you pressed your nose against the window pane until it looked flat and white to passers by... Continue reading book >>

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