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.
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... Earl Miner, who makes much of the matter, observes that “Those who have encountered such images as 'the North,' winter, storms, and battle again and again in unquestioned political contexts will likely think the political reading ...
... Earl of Northampton, another of our playwrights, had at least seventeen volumes of plays, including the works of Shakespeare and Jonson." It is often noted that Sidney's Arcadia figured in King Charles's final days because he thought ...
... Earl of Clarendon, observed later, “the court was full of faction and animosity” (1:187). John Suckling included in his play Brennoralt (1639–41; printed 1646) a speech to a king that in retrospect seems especially pointed: Nor are you ...
... Earl of Chesterfield, Sir Aston Cokayne's 1640 Twelfth Night Masque Presented at Brethie (printed in 1658) had a pleasant air of structured informality (its prologue was “to be spoken by whom the Masquers shall appoint” ). The text ...
... Earl of Strafford in 1640. Matters shortly afterward came to such a pass that he was accused of raising Irish troops to invade England on Charles's behalf, convicted by a bill of attainder (a parliamentary bill that decreed guilt rather ...
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