Winter Fruit: English Drama, 1642-1660
University Press of Kentucky, 2014 M10 17 - 472 pages
Probably the most blighted period in the history of English drama was the time of the Civil Wars, Commonwealth, and Protectorate. With the theaters closed, the country at war, the throne in fatal decline, and the powers of Parliament and Cromwell growing greater, the received wisdom has been that drama in England largely withered and died.
Throughout the official hiatus in playing, he shows, dramas continued to be composed, translated, transmuted, published, bought, read, and even covertly acted. Furthermore, the tendency of drama to become interestingly topical and political grew more pronounced.
In illuminating one of the least understood periods in English literary history, Randall's study not only encompasses a large amount of dramatic and historical material but also takes into account much of the scholarship published in recent decades. Winter Fruit is a major interpretive work in literary and social history.
From inside the book
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... page of Ben Jonson's Worées (1616) The crown and the rising sun as medallic images of Charles II Cromwell's head on a pole 265 279 282 298 301 304 315 325 333 335 340 341 372 373 PREFACE ... this Mad, Sad, Cold Winter of discontent.
In the first and only edition of Thomas Goffe's The Careles Shepherdess, a pastoral tragicomedy acted before Charles and Henrietta Maria at Salisbury Court and later published in Cromwell's time (1656), one comes across a list ...
... and Cromwell's order of August 1655—which, according to Fredrick Siebert, “reached a high point in the stringency of regulation and almost equaled Elizabeth in the degree of compliance enforced on printers and publishers” (3).
... however, the starlight dimmed again, as evidenced by Cromwell's “Orders ... for putting in speedy and due Execution the Laws, Statutes and Ordinances made and provided against Printing Unlicensed and Scandalous Books and Pamphlets, ...
Each man—Cromwell and Fairfax— thinks the crown would look good on himself, and hence each bids against the other for ... Incontinence and Abigail Concupiscence) and their paramours (Lady Fairfax's Gorge and Mrs. Cromwell's Morley'5), ...
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6 The Famous Tragedy of Charles I
8 Shows Motions and Drolls
12 Fruits of Seasons Gone
15 The Cavendish Phenomenon
17 The Rising Sun
9 Mungrell Masques and Their Kin
10 The Persistence of Pastoral
11 The Craft of Translation