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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Scott McMillin Has Died

I've just learned that Scott McMillin has died. I knew him a little bit, and he was a very kind person, generous with his time and his comments on one's work, and very willing to help out junior scholars. His book on Sir Thomas More is one of the best syntheses of theater history and print culture that I've read, and the excellent The Queen's Men and Their Plays (co-written with Sally-Beth MacLean) set the stage for the burst of recent cultural studies of theater repertories. Finally (among the work of his that I've read), his edition of The First Quarto of Othello features a terrific introduction to that play and its textual situation. What I like so much about his work is how clearly he perceives and explains the intricate connections between textuality and performance, whereas many people specializing in one of these two areas seem so often to oppose them. He always combined scrupulous archival scholarship with great critical readings and a wonderful imaginative ability to reconstruct performance possibilities and relate them to broader early modern cultural questions.

He was one of those scholars whom, when I saw that something he'd written overlapped with a project I was working on, I could always count on for illumination. I was therefore especially pleased to find out, when I got to know him the little bit that I did, what a nice person he was.

  • At 4/19/2006 05:10:00 PM, Blogger Greenwit wrote…

    I found out at SAA... truly unfortunate. I think it's hard to find someone who has something unpleasant to say about him, and it seems like he's one of the few folks about whom that was true before he passed away. He was very, very kind to me the one time I spoke with him about my work. So I was sad to hear it. Herbert Berry, too, by the way.


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