The first collection of its kind, Chartist Drama makes available four plays written or performed by members of the Chartist movement of the 1840s. Emerging from the lively counter-culture of this protest campaign for democratic rights, these plays challenged cultural as well as political hierarchies by adapting such recognisable genres as melodrama, history plays, and tragedy for performance in radically new settings. A communal, public, and embodied art form, drama was linked for the Chartists with other kinds of political performance: the oratory of the mass platform, festival-like outdoor meetings, and the elaborate street theatre of protest marches. Plays that Chartists wrote or staged advanced new interpretations of British history and criticised aspects of the contemporary world. And Chartist drama intervened in fierce strategic arguments within the movement. Most notably, poet-activist John Watkins’s John Frost, which dramatises the gripping events of the Newport rising of 1839, in which twenty-two Chartists lost their lives, defends the rebellion and the Chartist recourse to violence as a means for the movement to achieve its aims. The volume’s appendices document over one hundred Chartist dramatic performances, staged by activists in local Chartist associations or at professional benefits at some of London’s largest working-class theatres. Gregory Vargo’s introduction and notes elucidate the previously unexplored world of Chartist dramatic culture, a context that promises to reshape what we know about early Victorian popular politics and theatre.
Ralph Knevet's Supplement of the Faery Queene (1635) is a narrative and allegorical work, which weaves together a complex collection of tales and episodes, featuring knights, ladies, sorcerers, monsters, vertiginous fortresses and deadly battles – a chivalric romp in Spenser's cod medieval style. The poem shadows recent English history, and the major military and political events of the Thirty Years War. But the Supplement is also an ambitiously intertextual poem, weaving together materials from mythic, literary, historical, scientific, theological, and many other kinds of written sources. Its encyclopaedic ambitions combine with Knevet's historical focus to produce an allegorical epic poem of considerable interest and power.
This new edition of Knevet's Supplement, the first scholarly text of the poem ever published, situates it in its literary, historical, biographical, and intellectual contexts. An extensive introduction and copious critical commentary, positioned at the back of the book, will enable students and scholars alike to access Knevet's complicated and enigmatic meanings, structures, and allusions.
the office of deputy to the chief remembrancer of the exchequer in the late 1580s and early 1590s, during which time he had acquired a reputation as a serial complainer, regularly dispatching exhaustive memoranda detailing the inadequacies of government institutions in Ireland and the corrupt activities of senior officials there.2 His targets ranged from practices such as the abuse of martial law and malfeasance amongst the exchequer officers to individuals as highly placed in the Irish administration as Adam Loftus, the archbishop of Dublin, lord chancellor of
council, which are not fit to be mentioned in this time. And this day his excellency came down to Westminster, and was installed Lord Protector of the three nations, the manner whereof was thus. His excellency, about one of the clock in the afternoon, came from Whitehall to Westminster, to the Chancery Court,5 attended by the Lords Commissioners of the great seal of England,6 Barons of the Exchequer,7 and judges in their robes. After them, the Council of the Commonwealth,8 and the Lord Mayor, aldermen,9 and Recorder of the City of London,10 in their scarlet gowns
someone who had worked as a bishop’s secretary, with a knowledge of canon law.19 The chancellor ‘had the custody of the Great Seal; all royal charters, letters patent and close and other public instruments issued out of the Chancery, and were enrolled there; his writs set in motion the courts of justice, and authorised the issue of money from the King’s Exchequer. Thus he was at first an executive rather than a judicial officer.’20 The clerk’s duties would have involved overseeing a number of ecclesiastical issues, establishing who had the right to which benefice and
deputy’s apartments, the castle also contained the administrative offices of the Crown government in Ireland. The Lord Deputy informed the Privy Council in 1566 that Henry Droycott, an official who worked in the Exchequer and as Master of the Rolls, ‘hath had the perusing, sorting and calendaring of her Majesty’s recordes’, which were ‘well laid up in a strong chamber of one of the towers of Dublin Castle’. 47 The four courts of the Exchequer, Pleas, Chancery and King’s Bench were held in the castle from at least the
founded in personal choice, managed in his own time, and his own time was scarce. His job in Customs was a real job, requiring his presence all or most days of the week and demanding personal Introduction Identifying, and identifying with, Chaucer 21 inspection of cargoes and record-keeping in his own hand, and regular reports and visits to Exchequer. During those and other years in his life, his evening hours would have been the only available time for writing and he undoubtedly laboured when his neighbours were socialising and sleeping. While I won’t claim as