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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—Richard Atkyns, The Vindication (1643) What I have now to say is but to the ingenious Reader, that Hee will value these, noe other then as the writer gives them Leaves, and perhaps Budds of a tree, which (if this long winter of ...
Since one early reader of the present book has told me that it manifests an inclination toward royalism, and another that it reveals my whiggism, perhaps I should take this opportunity to state that I hold no brief for either (or any) ...
... its eyes in two directions and simultaneously see both sights as part of one reality, I am well aware that my own historico-literary reality here cannot be the same as (though it may resemble) that of any other scholar or reader.
... and to provide English writers, readers, and sometimes audiences with many forms of expression, whether for persuasion or pleasure or both. The very recurrence of prohibitions against playing attests to the persisting life of drama.
Readers of this book are likely to remember that Milton's typical thoughtful man fancies old romances “Where more is meant then meets the ear” (“Il Penseroso,” l. 120), and various scholars have shown that this insight may be applied ...
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4 The Paper War
5 Arms and the Men
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