Dramatists and Their Manuscripts in the Age of Shakespeare, by Grace Ioppolo

By Grace Ioppolo

This ebook provides new facts in regards to the ways that English Renaissance dramatists comparable to William Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Thomas Heywood, John Fletcher and Thomas Middleton composed their performs and the measure to which they participated within the dissemination in their texts to theatrical audiences. Grace Ioppolo argues that the trail of the transmission of the textual content was once no longer linear, from writer to censor to playhouse to viewers - as has been universally argued by means of students - yet round. Extant dramatic manuscripts, theatre files and bills, in addition to authorial contracts, memoirs, receipts and different archival facts, are used to turn out that the textual content again to the writer at a number of levels, together with in the course of practice session and after functionality. This monograph offers a lot new details and case experiences, and is an engaging contribution to the fields of Shakespeare experiences, English Renaissance drama reviews, manuscript experiences, textual research and bibliography and theatre historical past.

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Extra resources for Dramatists and Their Manuscripts in the Age of Shakespeare, Jonson, Middleton, and Heywood: Authorship, Authority, and the Playhouse (Routledge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture)

Sample text

Daborne sent Frances to visit Henslowe five hours before Henslowe died on 6 January 1616 so that she could plead for Daborne to be absolved of his outstanding debts (including the mortgage on his entire estate, which Henslowe then held). Frances Daborne also asked for the return of Daborne’s papers, as ‘hir husband should be undone by want of those writings yf the said Henslowe dyed’. Henslowe apparently granted both requests. She later served as a deponent when Henslowe’s nephew sued Henslowe’s heirs, including Alleyn, claiming that the will had been altered while Henslowe lay dying.

In the last years of his life, when he had ceased to use the Diary or formal contracts as records of his accounts, Henslowe has each payee, whether a dramatist or an intermediary, sign his name upon receipt of the money paid; usually this receipt is also ‘As good a play for yr publiqe howse as euer was playd’ 31 witnessed. However, Henslowe’s record-keeping seems to suggest that for each entry in the Diary, although not required to sign, the payee is present at the time of payment, and when payment is made to two or more dramatists at a time the amount received is evenly divisible by the group.

Bentley cites a few cases when play-books were resold without the author’s participation to emphasise ‘the playwright’s lack of control over his own compositions’. Bentley also takes as valid a widow’s assertion in 1635 that her actor-husband left her ‘things of small value’, including four play-books and some household items. As the widow’s comments come from a legal deposition, she almost certainly displays the strategy, used by countless other defendants over the centuries, of seriously undervaluing the worth of her property in order to keep it.

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