Search results

This volume considers transnational and intercultural aspects of early modern theatre, drama and performance. Its twelve chapters, loosely cosmographically grouped into West, North and South, compose a complex image of early modern theatre connections as a socially, economically, politically and culturally realised tissue of links, networks, influences and paths of exchange. With particular attention to itinerant performers, court festival, and the significant black, Muslim and Jewish impact, they combine disciplines and methods to place Shakespeare and his contemporaries in the wider context of early performance culture in English, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Czech and Italian speaking Europe. Their shared methodological approach examines transnational connections by linking abstract notions of wider theatre historical significance to concrete historical facts: archaeological findings, archival records, visual artefacts, and textual evidence. Crucial to the volume is this systematic yoking of theories with surviving historical evidence for the performative event – whether as material object, text, performative routine, theatregrams, rituals, festivities, genres, archival evidence or visual documentation. This approach enables it to explore the infinite variety of early modern performance culture by expanding the discourse, questioning the received canon, and rethinking the national restrictions of conventional maps to reveal a theatre that truly is without borders.

‘Minde on honour fixed’

This revisionary biographical study documents that Spenser was the protégé of a circle of churchmen who expected him to take holy orders, but between 1574, when he left Pembroke College, and 1579, when he published the Shepheardes Calender, he decided against a career in the church. At Pembroke College and in London, Spenser watched the Elizabethan establishment crack down on independent thinking. The sequestration of Edmund Grindal was a watershed event in his early life, as was his encounter with Philip Sidney, the dedicatee of to the Shepheardes Calender. Once Spenser exchanged the role of shepherd-priest for that of shepherd-poet, he understood that his role was not just to celebrate the victories of Protestant England over the Spanish empire, immortalize in verse the virtues of Gloriana’s knights, but also to ‘fashion a noble person in vertuous and gentle discipline’. The received biography of the early Spenser emphasizes Gabriel Harvey, who is reported to have been Spenser’s tutor. Brink shows that Harvey could not have been Spenser’s tutor and argues that Harvey published Familiar Letters (1580) to promote his ambition to be named University Orator at Cambridge. Brink shows that Spenser had already received preferment. His life is contextualized by comparisons with contemporaries including Philip Sidney, Lodowick Bryskett, Shakespeare, and Sir Walter Ralegh. Brink’s provocative study, based upon a critical re-evaluation of manuscript and printed sources, emphasizes Philip Sidney over Harvey and shows that Spenser’s appointment as secretary to Lord Grey was a preferment celebrated even years later by Camden.

Spenser’s Busirane and Donne’s ‘A Valediction of my name, in the window’

. They are also a synecdoche for the epistles (a material, fragmentary version of metonymy) that were, or might be, exchanged by parties hostile to their interests. Magical in their efficacy, the characters are imagined to exert a continued potency, literally ‘superscrib[ing]’ the influence of those who would threaten the amorous or political integrity of the signatory. The proposition that undergirds ‘A Valediction of my name, in the window’, that a full person could be resurrected from these vestigial ‘grav’d’ ‘characters’, implicates the

in Spenser and Donne
Abstract only

will make the case in Chapter 4 , ‘Southerne shepheardes boye’, that from 1574 to 1578 Spenser was probably in London working for John Young, Master of Pembroke and then Bishop of Rochester in 1578. There is no solid evidence of why or how Spenser moved from service under Bishop Young to the patronage of Arthur Lord Grey of Wilton. At some point between 1578 and 1579, Spenser exchanged the role of shepherd-priest for that

in The early Spenser, 1554–80
Making room for France

. 1–25. In fact, much of the recent critical discourse concerning cultural transfer and exchange with Italy employs such terminology, although not necessarily with conceptual precision. One may cite the titles of three (further) collections of essays edited by Michele Marrapodi: Shakespeare and Intertextuality: The Transition of Cultures between Italy and England in the Early Modern Period , Biblioteca Di Cultura (Rome: Bulzoni, 2000); Shakespeare, Italy, and Intertextuality (Manchester: Manchester University Pres, 2004); and (with A. J. Hoenselaars) The Italian

in The Shakespearean comic and tragicomic

quest of a flower that promises joy are turned to stone if they alight on the wrong plant. Almintor, a hunter, who goes in search of this flower in order to prove his love for Naschina, is duly calcified. Naschina, disguised as a shepherd, travels herself to the island and manages to outwit the enchantress and undo the spell placed on Almintor and others. At the end, she becomes the sole ruler of this island world, exchanging the lassitude of Arcadia for a sphere in which heroic self-realization is possible. R.F. Foster has noted that lurking beneath the archaisms of

in Spenser and Donne

no remedy to hand, I prescribed cold water held in the mouth and often spat out’, which worked well. The Revd Holyoak’s son was prescribed a pomegranate syrup described as particularly suitable for measles, but ‘this was not to hand’ so a different one was used ‘with happy effect’. Recipes were circulated and exchanged among lay people and from physicians to lay people. Hall refers to this explicitly in four reports. Two of them add an extra link to the chain, in that the transmitted recipe came originally from one of Hall’s printed sources. Squire Pakington

in John Hall, Master of Physicke

Rabelais exchanged bitter anagrams of each other’s names. Calvin referred to Rabelaesius as Rabei laesus , the ‘mad man’. Rabelais dubbed J. Calvinus a ‘ Jan Cul’ , that is ‘Jackass’ (hardly an anagram, but effective). Puttenham recorded that Queen Elizabeth herself took pleasure in turning courtiers’ names into anagrams (note the absent H and the

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind

will show that Shakespeare remembers Paul’s tale of this donation in Galatians 1:1 during Feste’s exchange with Sebastian in 4.1. Elizabethans who were regular readers of the Bible could not have failed to recognize a multitude of parallels between the problems Paul confronted in Corinth and those which Shakespeare contrived for his Illyria. Paul also reprimanded Christians for

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind

were distant, to send written interrogatories to be answered under oath in the presence of an officer. In 1533 the practice of sending interrogatories from Rome to England and vice versa was outlawed by the Act in Restraint of Appeals (24 Henry VIII, c. 12). John’s next lines ridicule the name ‘Pope’ and exchange it for ‘Italian priest’, a common epithet in Shakespeare’s time. The

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind