The succession to the throne, Lisa Hopkins argues here, was a burning topic not only in the final years of Elizabeth but well into the 1630s, with continuing questions about how James's two kingdoms might be ruled after his death. Because the issue, with its attendant constitutional questions, was so politically sensitive, Hopkins contends that drama, with its riddled identities, oblique relationship to reality, and inherent blurring of the extent to which the situation it dramatizes is indicative or particular, offered a crucial forum for the discussion. Hopkins analyzes some of the ways in which the dramatic works of the time - by Marlowe, Shakespeare, Webster and Ford among others - reflect, negotiate and dream the issue of the succession to the throne.
Lisa Hopkins is Professor of English at Sheffield Hallam University and co-editor of Shakespeare, the journal of the British Shakespeare Association.
'The book will be a useful resource for scholars looking for a concise summary of the varied dimensions to the problem... Hopkins has helpfully drawn attention to a large range of suggestive political allusions in early modern drama that can be investigated further by those so inclined.' Marlowe Society of America Newsletter 'Lisa Hopkins's Drama and the Succession to the Crown is the first serious and full-length study of drama's engagement with the question of the succession since Marie Axton's The Queen's Two Bodies: Drama and the Elizabethan Succession. Its strengths lie in Hopkins's laudable command of the historical context and in her attention to detail in the many allusions that she weaves with skill over the Elizabethan and Stuart periods.' Renaissance Quarterly 'Working from Christopher Marlowe to John Ford, [Hopkins] weaves an intricate web of ideas across her seventy-two-year period... fascinating...' Times Literary Supplement 'Hopkins elegantly, and nearly always persuasively, proposes that a number of dramatic works of the time reflect and negotiate the issue of the succession to the throne. In doing so she opens up the debate and points out new directions for further study.' Theatre Research International 'Drama and the Succession to the Crown, 1561-1633 is a rich and rewarding text that constitutes a valuable contribution to early modern studies.' Notes and Queries 'Drama and the Succession is a worthy addition to Hopkins's oeuvre, one that bas much to teach us, and at the same leaves us anticipating where she will take us next.' Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England