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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Thomas Jordan held that performances in “all their glory” were “much advantaged with the illustrative faculties of Musick, Painting, and Dancing” (Fancy's Festivals A2r-v). Richard Flecknoe warned of his Erminia (1661), “It will want ...
... who was presently dancing at Whitehall in silver and blue. In 1640 nearly anyone could see clearly enough and even say in a masque that “tis his fate, to rule in adverse times” (C1r). Within this same masque, on the other hand, ...
Elsewhere in the “Little World” were other masques and masquelike entertainments, sometimes so different in nature as to suggest a different genre, sometimes so much simpler as to remind one of the origins of masquing in costumed dance.
When Aurelia has caught her man and “got'um knighted,” she says, she “shall be drest up to play at Gleek, or dance, or see a Comedy, or go to the Exchange i'the afternoon” (C2r). - Killigrew's Parsons Wedding is cut from a similar bolt ...
Finally, the gleefully vicious Canterburie His Change of Diot comes to a close with a “Gig"—a clear reminiscence of such song-and-dance jigs as traditionally followed the performance of real plays.” Here it is performed by the jester ...
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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