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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The perceived threat of chaos was universally affecting and, I now see, a fitting prologue to a book concerned with the transformative power, good and bad, of civil strife. Since this book has now had an unusually prolonged ...
Along with facing a staggering amount of raw data and deciding how best to select from it and deploy it as clearly, helpfully, and interestingly as possible, I have been concerned from the beginning with apportionment.
Still closer to the years that most concern us, the chronological proximity of William Prynne's Histrio-mastix (1633) and Walter Montagu's Shepheard's Paradise (1633), in which Queen Henrietta Maria performed, was a factor in the ...
... is a transparent version of events in England during the period of our concern. Analogous thinking is and was ubiquitous. In the seventeenth century it undergirded coats of arms, sermons, songs, tapestries, and even penny pamphlets.
Where analogy is concerned, the creator of the work is sometimes creating also some comfortable personal leeway. The mid-seventeenth century, then, had a particular concern for what is obviously a universal phenomenon: the impulse to ...
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17 The Rising Sun
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10 The Persistence of Pastoral
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