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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Likewise reflective of the widespread need to provide one's own entertainment were a couple of allegorically inclined and scenically ambitious works by Mildmay Fane, Earl of Westmorland: Raguaillo D'Oceano, the most masquelike of all ...
It has been suggested, in fact, that the final dramatic entertainment for the Oxford cavaliers did not take place until 5 May 1646, shortly before the city fell to Parliament's forces on 24 June (Cutts, “Dramatic Writing” 16).
... (as we shall see more fully in chapter 9), William Davenant's crafting of a musical form of dramatic entertainment that was officially acceptable in 1656 and nowadays is generally held to constitute the founding of English opera.
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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