J. P. Wearing
John Peter Wearing (born c. 1945) is an English-born American author and professor, who has written numerous books and articles about nineteenth and twentieth-century drama and theater, including The Shakespeare Diaries: A Fictional Autobiography, published in 2007. He has also written and edited well-received books on George Bernard Shaw, Arthur Wing Pinero, and an extensive series on the London theatre from 1890 to 1959, among other subjects. As a professor of English literature, Wearing has specialized in Shakespeare and modern drama.
Wearing, who publishes under the name J. P. Wearing, was born in Birmingham, England and raised in Pelsall, England. At Cannock Grammar School, he became Head Boy and sang in the church choir. He studied English Literature at the University of Wales (then called the University College of Swansea), graduating in 1967 with a B.A. degree (magna cum laude). The next year he received an M.A. degree from the University of Saskatchewan. He earned a Ph.D. degree from the University of Wales in 1971. He has a brother named Michael.
In 1971, Wearing began teaching at the University of Alberta, soon founding, together with L. W. Conolly, the journal Nineteenth Century Theatre Research, which he edited until 1986. He was also a theatre critic on CKUA Radio in 1973-74. Wearing moved to the U.S. and joined the University of Arizona in 1974, teaching Shakespeare and modern drama until 1999. He has been honored with a Guggenheim Fellowship (1978–79) and a four-year research grant for his extensive series on the London theatre from the National Endowment for the Humanities (1987–91). Since 1999, he has held the post of Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Arizona.
Critical reception of Wearing's works
Wearing's careful research and concise writing have been much praised. For example, his volume of the collected letters of Arthur Wing Pinero was called "probably the most important material published on Pinero since his death.... Wearing has written an excellent introduction and valuable explanatory headnotes for each letter, a task that looks deceptively easy." A review of Wearing's 16-volume series on the London Stage stated: "In his remarkable series, J. P. Wearing... has chosen to give us a chronological listing of works... presented in major London theatres since 1890, a series now covering seven decades. I know of no other venture on this scale making available the theatrical riches of a great modern city in this detailed way.... Here is a wonderful place to start research." Other reviews call the London Stage volumes "invaluable" and "thoroughly accurate" and state: "[T]here is a proverbial mine of useful information here, sensibly organized and, within [limits], well indexed. Scholarship on the theatre covered by these volumes will surely become a rich beneficiary of Wearing's industry and good judgment."
Of Wearing's 2007 fictionalized "Shakespeare Diaries", Swansea University Alumni Association News notes: "Writing in diary form, in the delightfully whimsical style of Shakespeare himself, Wearing incorporates many fragments of lines and phrases from The Bard's plays and poems. Fascinating endnotes provide further annotation and information for those readers who wish to know more." A review of Wearing's American and British Theatrical Biography: A Directory concludes, "nowhere, aside from Wearing, can one find such a comprehensive listing of basic biographical information for America and Britain spanning the long history of theatrical activity in those countries and nicely digested in the pages of one volume. Like Wearing's previous scholarship, the present work addresses a demonstrable need, filling a notable gap in a practical, efficient, and serviceable way."
- American and British Theatrical Biography: A Directory, The Scarecrow Press (1979) ISBN 0-8108-1201-0
- Bernard Shaw: Arms and the Man (critical edition), London: Methuen Drama (2008) ISBN 0-7136-7998-0
- Bernard Shaw and Nancy Astor: Selected Correspondence of Bernard Shaw (ed. Wearing), University of Toronto Press (2005) ISBN 0-8020-3752-6
- The Collected Letters of Sir Arthur Pinero (ed. Wearing), University of Minnesota Press (1974) ISBN 0-8166-0717-6
- G. B. Shaw – An Annotated Bibliography of Writings about Him: 1871-1930 (ed. Wearing), Northern Illinois University Press (1986) ISBN 0-87580-125-0
- G. B. Shaw – An Annotated Bibliography of Writings about Him: 1931-1956 (ed. Wearing), Northern Illinois University Press (19??) ISBN 0-87580-121-8
- English Drama and Theatre, 1800–1900, with L.W. Conolly, Gale Research (1978)
- The London Stage, 1890–1899: A Calendar of Plays and Players, The Scarecrow Press (1976) ISBN 0-8108-0910-9
- The London Stage, 1900–1909: A Calendar of Plays and Players, The Scarecrow Press (1981) ISBN 0-8108-1403-X
- The London Stage, 1910–1919: A Calendar of Plays and Players, The Scarecrow Press (1982) ISBN 0-8108-1596-6
- The London Stage, 1920–1929: A Calendar of Plays and Players, The Scarecrow Press (1984) ISBN 0-8108-1715-2
- The London Stage, 1930–1939: A Calendar of Plays and Players, The Scarecrow Press (1990) ISBN 0-8108-2349-7
- The London Stage, 1940–1949: A Calendar of Plays and Players, The Scarecrow Press (1991) ISBN 0-8108-2500-7
- The London Stage, 1950–1959: A Calendar of Plays and Players, The Scarecrow Press (1993) ISBN 0-8108-2690-9
- The Second Mrs. Tanqueray, a critical and contextual edition (ed. Wearing), Broadview Press (2007) ISBN 1-55111-687-1
- The Shakespeare Diaries: A Fictional Autobiography, Santa Monica Press (2007) ISBN 1-59580-022-0
- J. P. Wearing biography at jpwearing.com
- University of Arizona English Department Faculty list
- Ronning, Robert. Review of The Collected Letters of Sir Arthur Pinero by J. P. Wearing, Educational Theatre Journal, Vol. 26, No. 3 (October 1974), pp. 415-16, The Johns Hopkins University Press (available from JSTOR by subscription, accessed on 20 March 2009)
- Dorris, George. "Dance and the London Stage, 1890–1959", a review of the 16-volumes in the series The London Stage: A Calendar of Plays and Players, Dance Chronicle, Vol. 18, No. 3 (1995), pp. 505–10, Taylor & Francis, Ltd. (available online from JSTOR by subscription, accessed 20 March 2009)
- Ellis, James. "An Accurate Calendar of London Theatre", review of The London Stage 1900–1909: A Calendar of Plays and Players, Shakespeare Quarterly, Vol. 33, No. 2 (Summer, 1982), pp. 245–47, Folger Shakespeare Library in association with George Washington University (available online through JSTOR by subscription, accessed 20 March 2009)
- Donohue, Joseph. Review of The London Stage 1890–1899: A Calendar of Plays and Players, Educational Theatre Journal, Vol. 29, No. 2 (May, 1977), pp. 268–71, The Johns Hopkins University Press (available online through JSTOR by subscription, accessed 20 March 2009)
- "Swansea alumnus presents the Shakespeare Diaries", Swansea University Alumni Association News, May 2007, accessed 20 March 2008
- Donohue, Joseph. Review of American and British Theatrical Biography: A Directory, Theatre Journal, Vol. 32, No. 3 (October 1980), pp. 406–08, The Johns Hopkins University Press (available online through JSTOR by subscription, accessed 20 March 2009)
- J. P. Wearing at Contemporary Authors Online, Thomson Gale, 2007 (subscription required)