William Stead book question


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Sep 26, 1999
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Today in the classified was an ad for a book written by William Stead. The title is 'Passion Play Ober Anmergau. Does anyone know anything about this book?
 
Oct 13, 2000
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Oberammergau is a town in Germany. they present the Passion Play (the story of Christ) every ten years, and have apparently been doing so for something like 400 years now. it was last performed in 2000.

Stead attended the play both in 1890 and again in 1900. after seeing it in 1890 he wrote The Story that Transformed the World" and "The Passion Play as Played To-day" that same year.

I am not exactly clear what Stead's book is about; whether it is about his rumminations on seeing the play or whether it is an English translation of the play itself - possibly a combination of the two!

hope that helps a little!
Michael (TheManInBlack) T
 

Bob Godfrey

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'The Story that transformed the World' was I believe Stead's English translation of the German text of the play and illustrated with photos of the production. It was published on its own and also included as part of the 'souvenir programme' (several hundred pages) for subsequent performances at least up to 1930, so the item for sale may be a programme. Not sure about the other title, but it sounds like a study of the production itself, possibly the 1890 equivalent of a 'Making of' film documentary. I've seen it referred to as a 'guide book'.
 
Sep 26, 1999
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I was a little confused by the ad, the complete ad is as follows:
Passion Play Ober Anmergau book, 1930, full English Text, written in 1900-1910 by William Stead (Titanic victim). Also photo and maps. Asking price $100.00.
Thanks Michael and Bob for your information.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Darren, that sounds very much like a description of the souvenir programme for 1930. This would include info about the area and the people, as well as the text of the play in German and Stead's English translation, which may be his only contribution. If you want something of Stead's own writing for your collection, this is probably not the best choice.
 
Sep 26, 1999
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Kalman, thanks for posting that website. The Passion Play has only been presented 40 times. I wonder why they wait so long before they do it again. We have many outdoor dramas here in North Carolina that are presented every year with the "Lost Colony" being the oldest continual outdoor drama in the United States. Bob, I think you are right about that information. The 1930 really confused me. Books by authors who were on the Titanic has never been something I have sought after but there is one book I would like to read and thats "Journey Into Different Worlds" (I think thats the title) by John Jacob Astor.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Darren, the ten year gap is part of the tradition of the passion play, which goes back to the seventeenth century when the village was decimated by plague. The villagers swore an oath to proclaim their faith by performing the play every ten years. Every new generation has attempted to maintain the tradition, but the gaps between performances have sometimes been longer and sometimes shorter than ten years.
 
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