Lillian Hellman: A Research and Production Sourcebook


SKU: 9780313302640
Author: Horn, Barbara L
Publication Date: 08/20/1998
Publisher: Greenwood
Binding: Hardcover
Media: Book
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Widely acclaimed as one of America’s most distinguished female playwrights, Lillian Hellman made an entrance into a largely male-dominated field in 1934 with The Children’s Hour, a drama that rocked the literary establishment with its frank treatment of lesbianism while calling attention to her writing talents. Written between 1934 and 1963, Hellman’s dramatic canon includes eight original plays and four adaptations. Two of these, Watch on the Rhine (1941) and Toys in the Attic (1960), received Drama Critics’ Circle Awards. In addition to her dramatic activities, she wrote three memoirs and a novella, contributed articles to national magazines, edited Chekov’s letters and Dashiell Hammett’s mysteries, and penned several screenplays. She is probably best known for The Little Foxes (1939), her drama about a family of predatory entrepreneurs who seek to build an industrial fortune on the ruins of the old South.

Both a quick reference guide and an exhaustive resource, this volume provides broad and thorough coverage of Hellman’s dramatic career. It begins with a critical overview of her life, along with a chronology of her accomplishments. The bulk of the book, which treats her eight original plays and four adaptations, all written for the Broadway stage, provides detailed plot summaries, stage histories, and critical overviews. The next section offers an annotated bibliography of primary sources. This is followed by an annotated secondary bibliography, which is divided into sections on reviews, books, and articles. Entries in the bibliographies are first arranged chronologically and then alphabetically, so that the reader can gain a fuller sense of the development of Hellman’s career and the response to her works over time. Detailed indexes conclude the volume and offer full alphabetical access to its contents.