Dramatists and their Manuscripts in the Age of Shakespeare, Jonson, Middleton and Heywood : Authorship, Authority and the Playhouse book cover
1st Edition

Dramatists and their Manuscripts in the Age of Shakespeare, Jonson, Middleton and Heywood
Authorship, Authority and the Playhouse

ISBN 9780415470315
Published May 28, 2008 by Routledge
248 Pages

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Book Description

This book presents new evidence about the ways in which English Renaissance dramatists such as William Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Thomas Heywood, John Fletcher and Thomas Middleton composed their plays and the degree to which they participated in the dissemination of their texts to theatrical audiences. Grace Ioppolo argues that the path of the transmission of the text was not linear, from author to censor to playhouse to audience - as has been universally argued by scholars - but circular. Authors returned to their texts, or texts were returned to their authors, at any or all stages after composition . The reunion of authors and their texts demonstrate that early modern dramatists collaborated in various ways and degrees in the theatrical production and performance of their plays, and that for early modern dramatists and their theatrical colleagues authorship was a continual process. 

Extant dramatic manuscripts, theatre records and accounts, as well as authorial contracts, memoirs, receipts and other archival evidence, are used to prove that the text returned to the author at various stages, including during rehearsal and after performance. This monograph provides much new information and case studies, and will be a fascinating contribution to the fields of Shakespeare studies, English Renaissance drama studies, manuscript studies, textual study and bibliography and theatre history.

Table of Contents

Introduction  1. 'As Good a Play for Yr Publique Howse as Euer Was Play'd' Dramatists and Authorship  2. 'You Give Them Authority to Play' Dramatists and Authority  3. 'The Fowle Papers of the Authors' Dramatists and Foul Papers  4. 'A Fayre Copy Hereafter', Dramatists and Fair Copies  5. 'Plaide in 1613' Authorial and Scribal Manuscripts in the Playhouse  6. 'It Sprang from Ye Poet' Jonson, Middleton and Shakespeare at Work  Bibliography

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Ioppolo, Grace


'To say that Ioppolo's book will, or should, completely alter the way the texts by the playwrights of the period are edited and therefore performed is to put it entirely too mildly.' - William Proctor Williams, Notes and Queries

'an admirably thorough investigation of a previously neglected subject. The book is enlivened by many touches of human interest ... [it] would be a valuable addition to any university or public library.' - British Theatre Guide

'Ioppolo's book, often iconoclastic, can also be bracingly funny ... it brings the opportunity to think again in new and fresh ways about the manuscripts at the book's centre and their place in the culture and practices of the early modern theatre.' - The Library