A Man for All Seasons
A Play in Two Acts
Publication Date: April 14, 1990
List Price: $11.95*
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The classic play about Sir Thomas More, the Lord chancellor who refused to compromise and was executed by Henry VIII.
Robert Bolt (1924-1995) was born at Sale, near Manchester, the son of a shopkeeper. He was educated at Manchester Grammar School and continuing at Manchester University he graduated in history in 1949. He then became a schoolmaster and also started writing radio plays for the BBC before achieving his first London theatrical success with "Flowering Cherry "(1957). Bolt's reputation rests largely on his historical dramas, all of which involve confrontations of differing values that have altered history. The best of these, "A Man for All Seasons" (produced at London's Globe Theatre in 1960, but originally written in 1954 and intended for the radio) deals with Sir Thomas More's struggle to keep his conscience inviolate while serving his sovereign, King Henry VIII, creating a dramatic clash between principle and power. In "Vivat! Vivat Regina!" (1970) Bolt returns to the sixteenth century, this time examining the confrontation between Elizabeth I and the vividly defiant Mary, Queen of Scots. "State of Revolution" (1977) depicts the struggle among Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin and others to define and implement the Russian Revolution, showing the corrosive effects of dictatorial power on both people and leaders. In addition to his stage plays, Bolt is equally known for his screenplays, notably "Lawrence of Arabia" (1962), "Dr Zhivago" (1966), the Academy Award-winning" A Man for All Seasons" (1967) which, like the stage productions, starred Paul Scofield, and "Ryan's Daughter" (1969).