12 Pages

[Aaron Hill and William Popple], Prompter

Published by Aaron Hill (1685-1750) and William Popple (1701-64), the Prompter was a highly in uential if relatively short-lived, journal, which came out on Tuesdays and Fridays, commencing on Tuesday 12 November 1734 and ending on Friday 2 July 1736. It is believed that the numbers signed by ‘B’ were authored by Hill, and those signed by ‘P’ were authored by Popple; all those a er number 132 were unsigned. Roughly half of its 163 numbers were dedicated to stage; the rest deal with such matters as ‘evil and virtue, harmony and discord, sociology, economics, and politics’.1 Hill’s ideas about acting articulated in the Prompter constituted a blueprint for his famous later poem e Art of Acting (1746) and his Essay on the Art of Acting (1753). e Essay, in particular, continued to in uence writers on acting theory well into the nineteenth century: Hill’s ‘scienti c’ discussion of ten ‘dramatic passions’ – joy, sorrow, fear, scorn, anger, amazement, jealousy, revenge, love and pity – became a staple of English acting manuals.2