Criticism books

Lindsay Anderson

  • Artist, Critic and Teacher, Joint Council for Education Through Art, 1960 (UK)

Matthew Arnold

  • On Translating Homer, AL Burt, 1861 (UK)
  • Essays in Criticism, AL Burt, 1865 (UK)
  • Culture and Other Writings, Cambridge University Press, 1893 (UK)

Dennis Arundell

  • The Critic at the Opera, Ernest Benn Ltd (UK), 1700–14

Maurice Berger

  • The Crisis of Criticism, The New Press, 1998 (USA)

John Booth

  • The Critic, Power and the Performing Arts, Columbia University Press, 1991 (USA)

Celia Brayfield

  • Arts Reviews, Kamera Books, 2008 (UK)

Paul D Cannan

  • The Emergence of Dramatic Criticism in England: From Jonson to Pope, Palgrave Macmillan, 2006 (UK)

Bert Cardullo

  • Dramatic Considerations: Essays in Criticism, 1977-1987 (American University Studies Series Xxvi Theatre Arts), Peter Lang Pub Inc (USA)
  • American Drama/Critics: Writings and Readings, Cambridge Scholars Publishing (USA)
  • Serious Dialogue: Interviews with American Theater Critics, Cambridge Scholars Publishing (USA)

Marvin Carlson

  • Theories of the Theatre: A Historical and Critical Survey, from the Greeks to the Present, Cornell University Press, 1993 (USA)

Noel Carroll

  • On Criticism, Routledge, 2009 (UK)

Gay Gibson Cima

  • Early American Women Critics: Performance, Religion, Race, Cambridge University Press (USA)

Barrett H Clark 

  • European Theories of the Drama: An Anthology of Dramatic Theory and Criticism from Aristotle to the Present Day, Stewart and Kidd Company, 1918 (USA)

William Cooke

  • The Elements of Dramatic Criticism, 1775 (UK)

Rick Davis and Christopher Thaiss

  • Writing About Theatre, Allyn and Bacon, 1999 (USA)

Harold Downs

  • The Critic in the Theatre, Pitman, 1953 (UK)

Nicholas Dromgoole

  • The Role of the Critic, Oberon, 2010 (UK)

Bernard F Dukore

  • Dramatic Theory and Criticism: Greeks to Grotowski, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1974 (USA)

Ronald Duncan

  • Critics’ Gaffes, MacDonald, 1983 (UK)

Terry Eagleton

  • The Function of Criticism, Verso, 1984 (UK)

Floyd Eugene Eddleman 

  • American Drama Criticism Interpretations 1890-1977, Shoe String Press, 1979 (USA)


  • Our Stage and its Critics, Methuen, 1910 (UK)

James Elkins

  • What Happened to Art Criticism?, Prickly Paradigm Press, 2003 (USA)

John W English

  • Criticizing the Critics, Hastings House, 1979 (USA)

Marcia L Ferguson

  • A Short Guide to Writing About Theatre, Pearson, 2008 (USA)

Mark Fisher

Marcie Frank

  • Gender, Theatre, and the Origins of Criticism: From Dryden to Manley, Cambridge University Press, 2003 (UK)

Christopher Fry

  • An Experience of Critics, Perpetua, 1952 (UK)

Charles Harold Gray

  • Theatrical Criticism in London to 1795, Columbia University, 1931 (UK)

Margaret Griffiths & Charles Hemming

  • A Sense of the Dramatic Drama Criticism and Appreciation, Collins Educational, 1984 (UK)

Clayton Meeker Hamilton

  • Studies in Stagectaft, Holt and Co (USA)
  • The Theory of the Theatre and Other Principles of Dramatic Criticism, Holt and Co (USA)
  • The Theory of the Theatre: And Other Principles of Dramatic Criticism. Consolidated Edition Including; The Theory of the Theater, Studies in Stagecraft, Problems of the Playwright, Seen on the Stage, Holt and Co, 1910 (USA)

Arnold P Hinchcliffe

  • Drama Criticism: Developments Since Ibsen, MacMillan, 1976 (UK)

Kerr Houston

  • An Introduction to Art Criticism, Pearson, 2013 (USA)

Suzanne Hudson

  • How to Write About Theatre and Drama, Harcourt College, 2000 (USA)

Thora Burnley Jones and Bernard de Bear Nicol

  • Neo-Classical Dramatic Criticism, Cambridge University Press (UK)

Jonathan Kalb

  • The Death (and Life) of American Theatre Criticism, Theater, 2002 (USA)

Murray Krieger

  • The Play and the Place of Criticism, John Hopkins Press, 1967 (USA)

Rocco Landesman

  • Yale/Theatre Vol. 4, No. 2: American Drama Criticism, Yale/Theatre, 1973 (USA)

Ludwig Lewisohn

  • A Modern Book of Criticism, Boni & Liveright, 1919 (USA)

SR Littlewood

  • Dramatic Criticism, Pitman, 1952 (UK)

Todd London

  • The Importance of Staying Earnest, No Passport Press, 2013 (USA)

Stanley Vincent Longman 

  • Drama as Rhetoric/Rhetoric as Drama: An Exploration of Dramatic and Rhetorical Criticism, University of Alabama Press (USA)

Brander Matthews

  • Aspects of fiction, and other ventures in criticism, Harper and Bros (USA)
  • Inquiries and Opinions, Charles Scribner’s Sons (USA)
  • Studies of the Stage, Harper and Brothers (USA)

Joseph McCrindle

  • Behind the Scenes: Theatre and Film Interviews from the “Transatlantic Review”, Pitman, 1971 (USA)

Rónón McDonald

  • The Death of the Critic, Continuum (UK)

Charles W Meister

  • Chekhov Criticism, 1880 Through 1986, Mcfarland & Co, 1988 (USA)
  • Dramatic Criticism: A History, Mcfarland & Co, 1985 (USA)

Tice L Miller

  • Bohemians and Critics: American Theatre Criticism in the Nineteenth Century, Scarecrow Press (USA)

George Jean Nathan

  • Comedians All, Knopf (USA)
  • Art of the Night, Alfred A Knopf (USA)
  • Testament of a Critic, Alfred A Knopf (USA)
  • The Critic and the Drama, Alfred A Knopf (USA)

Helen H Palmer & Anne Jane Dyson

  • European drama criticism, Shoe String Press, 1977 (USA)

Richard H Palmer

  • Critic’s Canon: Standards of Theatrical Reviewing in America (Contributions in Drama & Theatre Studies), Greenwood Press (USA)

Stephen C Pepper

  • The Basis of Criticism in the Arts, Harvard University Press, 1945 (USA) 

Henry Phillips

  • The Theatre and Its Critics in Seventeenth-Century France, Oxford University Press, 1980

Paul Prescott

  • Reviewing Shakespeare: Journalism and Performance from the Eighteenth Century to the Present, Cambridge University Press , 2013 (UK)

Duska Radosavljevic

Frank Rich

  • Hot Seat, Random House, 1993 (USA)
  • Ghost Light, Random House, 1999 (USA)

Michael Riedel

RIEDEL TURNS turns this material into a cracking read. He writes not only with a newspaper man’s ear for snappy prose, but a journalist’s instinct for a compelling story. Rather than divide Razzle Dazzle into neat-and-tidy decades, he lets this history book take him wherever the action may be. Lurching from one escapade to another, he always finds the most colourful route to get from A to B. [review continues]

Diana Rigg

  • No Turn Unstoned, Arrow, 1983 (UK)

William Russell & Peter Cargin

  • A Critical Century, Critics’ Circle, 2013 (UK)

AO Scott

Better Living Through Criticism, Jonathan Cape, 2016 (USA)

AT INTERVALS through Better Living Through Criticism, a free-wheeling meditation on how we talk about art, critic AO Scott changes the pace with a series of imagined interviews. Hold on, says his alter ego every couple of chapters, you’ve been saying this, that and the other, but have you considered this other thing? He may be asking his own questions, but the format forces Scott to focus. [review continues]

George Bernard Shaw

  • How to Become a Musical Critic, Rupert Hart Davies (UK) 
  • Advice to a Young Critic, Brown, Watson (UK)

Wesley Shrum

  • Fringe and Fortune: The Role of Critics in High and Popular Art, Princeton University Press, 1996 (UK)

Dane Farnsworth Smith 

  • Critics in the audience of the London theatres from Buckingham to Sheridan, University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, 1953 (UK)

Samuel Stephenson Smith

  • Craft of the Critic, Crowell, 1931 (USA)

Colin Swatridge

  • Oxford Guide to Effective Argument and Critical Thinking, Oxford, 2014 (UK)

Simon Tait

  • 100 Critical Moments, The Critics’ Circle, 2014 (UK)

Christina Thompson & Jenny Lee

  • Meanjin: Pearls Before Swine: Australian Theatre Criticism: Volume 53: Number 3: Spring 1994, Sydney Harbour Books (Australia)

William Thompson Price

  • The technique of the drama: A statement of the principles involved in the value of dramatic material, in the construction of plays, and in dramatic criticism, Brentanos, 1892 (USA)

JC Trewin

  • Five and Eighty Hamlets, Hutchinson, 1987 (UK)

Chris Tookey

  • Better Criticism, Arena, 2017 (UK)

Megan Vaughan

SCAN YOUR eyes over the footnotes in this timely survey of online criticism. You’ll spot a pattern. One says: “In 2009, all of JournalSpace’s data, including every single blog hosted on it, was deleted by a disgruntled employee.” Another reads: “This post is now lost,” and another: “No longer online.” Elsewhere, talking about a provocative London blog called Encore, author Megan Vaughan writes: “Much of these later posts were lost when the hosting lapsed.” [Review continues]

Anton Wagner

  • Establishing Our Boundaries: English-Canadian Theatre Criticism, University of Toronto, 1998 (Canada)

Arthur Bingham Walkley

  • Dramatic Criticism: Three Lectures, John Murray (UK)

Robert Wallace

  • Producing Marginality: Theatre and Criticism in Canada, Fifth House, 1990 (Canada)

Irving Wardle

  • Theatre Criticism, Routledge, 1992 (UK)

JR Williams

  • Drama: A Guide for Beginners at Criticism, Longmans, Green and Co, 1928 (UK)

Matt Windman

  • The Critics Say…: 57 Theater Reviewers in New York and Beyond Discuss Their Craft and Its Future, McFarland, 2016 (USA)

William Winter

  • The actor, and other speeches, The Dunlap Society (USA)
  • The Press and the Stage: An Oration, Lockwood and Coombes (USA)

Roland Edgar Wolseley

  • Critical Writing for the Journalist, Chilton Book Company, 1959 (USA)

Jurgen C Wolter 

  • The Dawning of American Drama: American Dramatic Criticism, 1746-1915, Greenwood Press, 1993 (USA)

Douglas Young

  • Scots burds and Edinburgh reviewers: A case study in theatre critics and their contradictions in regard to the first international festival production by Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum Theatre Company, 1966, M Macdonald (UK)

Yael Zarhy-Levo

  • The Making of Theatrical Reputations: Studies from the Modern London Theatre, University of Iowa (UK)
  • The theatrical critic as cultural agent:, constructing Pinter, Orton and Stoppard as absurdist playwrights, Peter Lang Publishing (UK)
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