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Shakespeare and Manuscript Drama
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Book description

How did Shakespeare write his plays and how were they revised during their passage to the stage? James Purkis answers these questions through a fresh examination of often overlooked evidence provided by manuscripts used in early modern playhouses. Considering collaboration and theatre practice, this book explores manuscript plays by Anthony Munday, Thomas Middleton, and Thomas Heywood to establish new accounts of theatrical revision that challenge formerly dominant ideas in Shakespearean textual studies. The volume also reappraises Shakespeare's supposed part in the Sir Thomas More manuscript by analysing the palaeographic, orthographic, and stylistic arguments for Shakespeare's authorship of three of the document's pages. Offering a new account of manuscript writing that avoids conventional narrative forms, Purkis argues for a Shakespeare fully participant in a manuscript's collaborative process, demanding a reconsideration of his dramatic canon. The book will greatly interest researchers and advanced students of Shakespeare studies, textual history, authorship studies and theatre historians.

Reviews

'This is a temperate, scrupulous and exhaustive study, which deserves a longer review. … [Purkis's] meticulously detailed analyses, which represent a significant advance in our understanding of dramatic manuscripts generally, and Shakespeare’s professional activities in particular.'

Paul Dean Source: English Studies

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Contents

  • Believe as You List (British Library MS Egerton 2828)

  • Bonduca (British Library MS Add. 36758)

  • The Captives (British Library MS Egerton 1994, fols. 52–73)

  • Edmond Ironside (British Library MS Egerton 1994, fols. 96–118)

  • The Heaven of the Mind (British Library Add. MS 33384)

  • John a Kent and John a Cumber (Huntington Library MS 500)

  • John of Bordeaux (Duke of Northumberland’s Library, Alnwick Castle, MS 5072)

  • The Launching of the Mary (British Library MS Egerton 1994, fols. 317–49)

  • The Parliament of Love (Victoria and Albert Museum MS Dyce 25)

  • The Second Maiden’s Tragedy (British Library MS Lansdowne 807, fols. 29–56)

  • Sir John van Olden Barnavelt (British Library MS Add. 18653)

  • Sir Thomas More (British Library MS Harley 7368)

  • The Soddered Citizen (Wiltshire and Swindon Record Office MS 865/502/2)

  • Thomas of Woodstock (British Library MS Egerton 1994, fols. 161–85)

  • The Two Merry Milkmaids (Folger Shakespeare Library Copy 2)

  • The Two Noble Ladies (British Library MS Egerton 1994, fols. 224–44)

  • The Wasp (Duke of Northumberland’s Library, Alnwick Castle, MS 5071)

  • The Welsh Embassador (Cardiff Public Library MS 4.12)

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