Description: The variety and richness of early London's dramatic activity are extensivelyrevealed here: both from the records of its civic government and liverycompanies, 1287 to 1558, and in a chronological appendix of information fromother sources, such as national and local chronicles (written in Anglo-French,Latin, and English). Civic London to 1558 adds substantially to the amount ofpublished evidence of early drama in London. After the demise of the multi-daybiblical play performed, regularly or occasionally, in the late fourteenthcentury at Clerkenwell, on the edge of the city, records begin to appear of theLondon companies (originally craft and trade guilds) paying players/actors toperform at annual company feasts. The records are at first largely of clerks'groups, and subsequently largely of troupes patronized by royalty and thearistocracy. The London troupes of Shakespeare's day descend from here. Alsoelaborate formal mummings (disguisings) were sent by the city to the court, andwere performed as well in company halls. Grand theatrical spectacles werepresented in the streets: at Midsummer, for formal royal entries through thecity, and for mayoral inaugurations. This collection makes a strong contributionto the known evidence of these activities and of others as well. Anne Lancashireis Professor Emerita of English at the University of Toronto; she has publishedextensively on medieval and early modern theatre and drama.
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