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Shibboleth OpenAthens. Restore content access Restore content access for purchases made as guest. Article Purchase - Online Checkout. Issue Purchase - Online Checkout. People also read Article. Daniel Derrin Shakespeare Volume 11, - Issue 4. Johnston and Margaret Rogerson eds. Introduction 5 with, then, is an entry point into something other than the literal bear pit; it enables us to start to reconstruct, albeit partially, the cultural world in which a key figure such as Wentworth moved, re locating him in the space of his Yorkshire estate and its adjacent neighbourhoods, and restoring him in the process to a more quotidian set of practices and behaviours.
In turn we gain access to a fuller understanding of what theatre and performance constituted in the cultural life of England in the decades leading up to the civil wars this study will focus, in particular, on the s—s.
It is through this kind of methodology that I hope in this study to indicate the ways in which cultural geography as both a disciplinary field and an approach might prove insightful for literary criticism and theatre history. We are already beginning in this single example to think about the role of the individual within wider networks: of patronage, politics, local identity, manuscript and artistic and theatrical circles, neighbourhoods, and the potent domain of the estate itself, and these ideas will all play a crucial role in the cultural geography I am attempting to limn for the early seventeenth century and, in particular, for its drama.
The early modern estate is one prime spatial means of exploring cultural geography and in its variant forms it will prove an important conceptual and material site throughout this study. The remarkable archive that has been provided for us by the Records of Early English Drama project henceforth REED offers considerable evidence for the frequency of visits to country estates and towns by performing bears with names such as Tarleton, Robin Hood, Will Tookey, and Mad Besse, sometimes transported in carts and sometimes walked there on foot by their keepers and wards; and the vibrant cultural context of Yorkshire in the s would have been no exception to this rule.
D3r, in which he specifically discusses those of Paris Garden. They issued licences to bearwards as well as breeding mastiffs for baitings p.
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Bearhouses stood adjacent to the Hope Theatre at least into the s p. See also S. Glasgow, , Being a terrible murther committed by one of Sir Sander Duncomes Beares on the body of his Gardner, that usually came to feed them, where thousands of people were eye-witnesses.
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Pamphlets such as this will prove to be a crucial non-dramatic source of primary material in this study and we will, on countless occasions, witness rich interplay and cross-fertilization between the public theatres and print culture in the manner suggested in this instance. Here, though, we also have contemporary description offering us access to the ways in which theatre and performance were woven deep into the contemporary psyche and, not least, the experience of specific spaces and places like the Bankside.
Strange and Horrible News, sig. This period was selected partly because of the obvious potential of a holistic study of Caroline theatrical culture in this regard, focusing on drama produced during the reign of Charles I from to , and encompassing the particular cultural moment of the Personal Rule from to when the King governed without summoning any parliaments. Introduction 9 Facilitating examples of this kind enable us to think about a number of the connecting lines of thought between literary criticism, theatre history, and cultural geography that will form the basis of my methodology here when trying to unlock new ways of approaching and understanding early modern drama as form and practice.
Crang, Cultural Geography, p. In making these interdisciplinary accommodations, I am keen to stress that many cultural geographers have themselves been pioneering in bringing together the consideration of space and place as material and measurable phenomena with their textual and aesthetic histories of representation: seminal work in this respect includes Denis Cosgrove and Stephen Daniels eds.
The raw material of that drama itself needs to be considered as part of this process of investigation — to that end, pamphlet culture will be a particularly prevalent printed source throughout this study, alongside letters and correspondence, which altogether provide a key to contemporary mindsets as well as that difficult-to-reconstruct sphere of spoken discourse. As will already be clear, my intention is to stress throughout the agency of the artistic form as much as its reflective or representational power.
Sullivan Jr eds. Introduction 11 have emerged. From these canonical writers, in turn there has emerged a lexicon of keywords for scholars operating in this area and these terms have certainly provided a helpful working vocabulary for my arguments. Criss-crossing the chapters and case studies presented are a series of spatial terms which help to suggest the ideas of practice and process that I wish to invoke and promote when making my central case about the social agency of drama in the early modern period. How did early modern people think about particular kinds of habitat, space, and environment, constructed or otherwise?
One salient example from the vibrant field of social history and early modern urban studies is J.
I have made a deliberate decision not to start in London or at least not to commence only in London. Alexander ed. Introduction 13 of the capital and their reflection in early modern drama, but I wanted to place London in a bigger cultural geographical context by thinking about models of flow and interaction, and notions of multidirectional influence as well as overlapping and interacting communities.
In turn, this connects with the country at large — the seventeenth-century city relied on rivers for access to the suburbs and the constituent parts of the regions. London at this time had only a single bridge London Bridge and for that reason, key workers on the water also formed a crucial part of its cultural geography; in this case, the watermen who figure in the mental and literary landscapes of the day, as several plays explored in the course of these pages indicate.
As well as the Thames, however, this chapter looks at the Trent and the Severn as equally potent riverine spaces in the cultural and political imaginary. All three of these rivers serve to make manifest the ways in which literary and material ideas of landscape operated, often simultaneously, in early modern life and, as a result, this chapter ranges across the geographies of London pageants to Ludlow masques.
But my aim in entering into the woodlands is to deploy the work of social historians such as Buchanan Sharp, Steve Hindle, and Daniel Beaver, and their explorations of the operations of communities of commoners who claimed customary rights to the royally controlled forests and deer parks that dotted the landscape of seventeenth-century England. The aim is to release an interest in these highly topical notions of particular sites in dramatic texts that are usually interpreted in the context of more purely literary notions of woodland geographies.
I am grateful to Jemima Matthews for discussions on this topic. What these diverse texts are seen to engage with is the question not only of woodlands as political and judicial spaces but the woodland ecology itself and the hugely contested issue of natural resources. These were, instead, sites of contestation and dispute, leading to a wave of popular protest throughout our focus decades. We will look at the ways in which commercial drama, and masques and entertainments both in provincial and courtly contexts since another central premise of this study is to keep as many kinds of performance text and as wide a notion of performance sites as possible in play; the stress here is on plurality, and on the inter-theatricality and inter-textuality of cultural practice36 responded to these social issues as they arose and were in part conditioned by the spatial and the geographical.
This is a chapter about the battle for access to resources as much as it is about particular resonant landscapes.
Chapter 3 continues the attention to the resources, social and material, of particular bounded domains by turning to the powerful locale of the early modern estate and the variant forms of performance that took place there during the late Jacobean and Caroline eras. There have been important recent research findings on related topics of hospitality, patronage, estate management, and, indeed, the implications of these for issues of gender and community.
Household drama, but also its impact on London commercial plays not least by Jonson, Shirley, and Brome, often seen as key playwrights of the city at this time , will be interrogated. In turn, this helps to challenge simplistic ideas of directions of flow — of influence and travel — between the capital and the countryside.
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Chapter 4 continues to test ideas of direction of travel, but here, modes of mobility themselves become the focus of analysis. Introduction 15 from cultural geography and the adjacent discipline of anthropology, I explore mobility and dwelling in a series of juxtaposed contexts connecting back to the households of the preceding chapter and projecting forward to the parish neighbourhoods and networks that are the focus of the chapter to follow. We move from open highways and a focus on the vagrants, strolling players, beggars, and migrant labourers who paced their rutted surfaces, to new modes of technology and transport, such as the coach, and their impact on social relationships.
These discussions will, in turn, lead us into the focused analysis 38 39 40 41 Cf. The latter was actually constructed in the decade of the s and plays by Brome and Nabbes will provide direct access to contemporary thinking about the development and its spatial and social practice. Plays by Shirley and Brome centred on the Strand and its environs in the West End of the city similarly help to underline the changing orientation of Londoners towards the new town districts that these sites encompassed. The ways in which all these plays suggest modes of behaviour as well as reflecting them proves central to the argument.
We close, then, with an active example of the way in which drama not only reflected and represented cultural geography, but made direct contributions to the public understanding and practice of the same. It will already be clear that I have deliberately not organized this material around particular authors. In the course of this volume a range of playwrights will be discussed — including Jonson, Brome, Shirley, Heywood, Nabbes, and Massinger — but all of them are consciously discussed as part of a wider context of networks, neighbourhoods, repertory, repertoire, and ensembles.
Theatre is presented as an essentially collaborative enterprise, a community practice with all the tensions and internal conflicts that tend to accrue around such entities. Drama is witnessed very much in conversation with itself, as these variant forms are seen to interact and overlap in productive ways, but also as a genre in dialogue with other kinds of text and discourse: pamphlets, travel writing, medical manuals and herbals, royal edicts, newsletters, and private correspondence.
What becomes important here are ideas of circulation, networks, and gatherings, textual and social. This study is necessarily selective — I have made facilitating choices not only of focus texts but also of the particular environments and spaces whose stories I wanted to tell.
It is absolutely my intention, however, that the methods and approaches adopted here are open to appropriation and can be redeployed to look at other kinds of cultural landscape: for example, the Scottish and the Welsh communities that operated on the edges of the mainstream at this time; the mountains of the Peak District and North 42 On the notion of literary coactivity, see James P.
Introduction 17 Wales as particular kinds of ecosystem and cultural community; the early modern court, both as a resonant set of spaces and sites and, equally, as a peripatetic space when in progress; and, further abroad, the negotiations of new colonial settlements in New England, not least the newly formed Massachusetts Bay Colony in the s, with its novel landscape and new ways of understanding land use.
The River Thames was a dominant presence on any formal map of the metropolis; both cartographic representations and more three-dimensional visual panoramas placed the river as their central point see Figure 2. Londoners and visitors to the capital would have regularly come into sight, smell, and sound of the Thames. I stress this plural aspect to the sensory perception of the river because that helps to drive home the centrality of water in the everyday early modern urban experience.
In London that keynote sound was frequently provided by the Thames. Jenner eds. Heated exchanges followed and ended up in the courts p. The business of the Thames was in these ways being reworked quite self-consciously into art. Those additions indicate to us the sheer weight of traffic on the Thames, from the 2, wherries and small boats noted by Munday to the 3, watermen whose livelihood depended on it.
There are occasional moments in which water becomes literally present onstage in the form of characters entering dripping wet because they have been subject to a dousing, often in the Thames; examples of such scenes include the drenched arrival of the vain gallant John Littleworth in 5.
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In a comedy, The Court Beggar, Richard Brome makes witty play on this fact in a trenchant satire on the fervour for projections and get-rich schemes at the contemporary Caroline court. The aim of this chapter is to unpack further examples, and, by means of their complexity and diversity, to reconsider the ways in which inhabitants of London, but also the nation at large, responded to and thought about the rivers, waterways, and oceans that surrounded them. The introduction to this book suggested that scholarly considerations of early modern drama frequently commence in London because their starting point is the commercial playhouse.
The metropolitan locale of that particular institution cannot be avoided, but this chapter, like the study as a whole, seeks to reorientate more conventional approaches whereby early modern events and even artefacts are frequently seen only through the prism of the early modern metropolis. Admittedly, the goods that decorated the country estates of the gentry and the nobility in this period were largely produced by, or passed through, the trading mechanism that was London. The river functioned both internally through the networks of canals and inland waterways that led into the regions, and externally leading out, as it did, towards the wider oceans and maritime spaces of trade and export.
The trajectory of this chapter will be to move from the idea of the river, exploring actual waterways such as the Thames, the Severn, and the Trent in the process, to the coastline and, from there, out to the open sea.
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