1st Edition

James Shirley and Early Modern Theatre New Critical Perspectives

Edited By Barbara Ravelhofer Copyright 2017
    248 Pages
    by Routledge

    248 Pages
    by Routledge

    James Shirley was the last great dramatist of the English Renaissance, shining out among other luminaries such as John Ford, Ben Jonson, or Richard Brome.

    This collection considers Shirley within the culture of his time, and highlights his contribution to seventeenth-century English literature as poet and playwright. Individual essays explore Shirley’s musical theatre and spoken verse, performance conditions, female agency and politics, and the presentation of his work in manuscript and print. Collectively, the essays assemble a larger picture of Caroline drama, showing it to be more than simply a nostalgic endgame, its poets daintily sipping hemlock on the eve of the Civil Wars.

    Shirley’s literary versatility and long life, spanning the last days of Queen Elizabeth I to the ascension of Charles II, make him an ideal writer through whom to examine the distinctive qualities of Caroline theatre.




    Barbara Ravelhofer


    Time for James Shirley

    Jeremy Lopez


    The Comic and the Apocalyptic in Shirley’s Drama

    Rebecca Hasler


    ‘And you meane to rise at court, practise to caper’:

    The Representation of the Court in James Shirley’s Plays, 1631-36

    Peter Happé


    Rebellion in Arcadia: Caroline Anti-Militarism in Dramatic Adaptations of Sidney

    Rachel Ellen Clark


    A Conflict More Fierce than Many Thousand Battles: Staging the Politics of Treason and Allegiance in James Shirley’s Maritime Plays, The Young Admiral and The Court Secret

    Rebecca Bailey


    Shirley’s Tragedies

    Barbara Ravelhofer


    Shirley’s Dublin Days: A Nervous Première of St. Patrick for Ireland

    Robert Lublin


    Papers Most Foul: The Melbourne Manuscript and the ‘Foul Papers’ Debate

    Dan Starza Smith


    Plotting Paratexts in Shirley’s The Politician

    Jitka Štollová


    The Drama of Shirley’s Poems

    Philip West


    Music in the Work of James Shirley

    Andrew Ashbee


    Versification from Shakespeare to Shirley: Implications for Performance

    Marina Tarlinskaja





    Barbara Ravelhofer is Professor of English Literature at Durham University and a general editor on The Oxford Complete Works of James Shirley. Her publications include The Early Stuart Masque: Dance, Costume, and Music (2006).