Leading up to the start of term, I have been preparing some materials for a class I will be teaching on early modern literature.  Although everybody takes notes when they are reading, I thought it might be interesting to follow the lead of others who teach early modern classes and encourage students to frame this […]

There are so many debates about the form of the printed playtext – what it represents, how close to the stage it is, where it comes from, to whom it can be ascribed.  Much criticism and theatre history was written in the twentieth century to re-situate  (or restore?) quarto and folio playtexts on the stages […]

Reflecting on his film Revengers Tragedy (2002), Alex Cox notes that Thomas Middleton is a strikingly “contemporary” dramatist: his concerns are our own, his language is distinctly “modern.”  Sean Foley and Phil Porter prove this to be true of Middleton’s sensational comedies as well as his sensational tragedies.  In their words, the play is “as […]

In the preface “To the Christian Reader” of William Prynne’s Histrio-mastix (1633), the author excuses the size of his work, “too large for so slight a subiect.”  Prynne defends its “tedious prolixitie” by reference to Ovid’s Metamorphoses: But as it were no disparagement to Phaebus his palace; that (a) the workmanship of it did exceede […]

Guil. Marshall is born in 1647.  He is the artist formerly known as William. *** Sometime at the beginning of March 1649, one Mumford, a bookbinder and “a poore man living in St. Pulchers Parish” had “taken some…Bookes to bind,” reportedly in order to earn money for his family and his pregnant wife.  Yet, according […]

The essayist, moral philosopher, and statesman Francis Bacon claims that gardens are “the purest of human pleasures” (430).  In the essay “Of Gardens,” he details the varying perfumes of flowers and the planting of trees, “wild vine…violets, strawberries, and primroses.”  Bacon advises the reader of the ideal sizes, division, and shape of a garden, the appropriate […]

Yesterday, I went to see Lucy Bailey’s The Winter’s Tale at the RSC in Stratford-upon-Avon.  The production placed the two courts in an interesting setting.  Bailey explains in an interview with Carol Chillington Rutter in the programme: We’re setting the play in the 1860s, conceiving Leontes’ court along the lines of the Pre-Raphaelite movement at that time. […]