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date: 17 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

It is by no means an accident that the passage of the Stage Licensing Act of 1737 virtually coincides with that of an important Universities Act. The relationship between stage and state in Georgian history was about the mediations involved in negotiating and renegotiating cultural and educational forms in the embryonic phases of parliamentary reform. The legislation of 1737 formed a hegemonic strategy by the British state to limit the latent energy of a population seeking some access to educational and political rights. The immediate effects of the passage of the two Acts may have been on the theatre practitioners themselves, but the more troubling outcome was the emerging pact between the gatekeepers of knowledge and the exercise of parliamentary power to implement an exclusionary consensus on behalf of their own authoritative rule.

Keywords: Licensing Act, censorship, education, universities, Walpole, part politics, political theatre

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