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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... playwrights, the story of Solyman the Magnificent, a ruler misled by an unscrupulous adviser into believing that his son Mustapha was disloyal. In 1739 this general situation could be paralleled more or less readily to that of George II ...
... playwrights were less interested than others in this sort of thing, a good many might have said with the pamphleteer Richard Overton, “The figure is but the shell; will you not crack the shell to take out the kernell?” (Baiting A1 v) ...
... playwright William Cavendish put it, “Whensoever we see, we are always similizing” (English “Prince” 177). The resultant metaphors can be interesting, provocative, useful, memorable, beautiful, dangerous, and many things else. In the ...
... playwrights themselves: namely, the plays to be studied are writings. Furthermore, numerous as they are, they are survivors from a still larger body of writings. Even in the heyday of the playhouses, not all plays reached print, not ...
... playwright (“I wish in this play I had donne better” [5v)), but he is unusual and helpful for recording his hope that performers will compensate for them. He writes that “what is wanting in it I hope those eloquent tongs of yo actors ...
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