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 of published evidence ofearly drama in London. After the demise of the multi-day biblical playperformed, regularly or occasionally, in the late fourteenth century atClerkenwell, on the edge of the city, records begin to appear of the Londoncompanies (originally craft and trade guilds) paying players/actors to performat annual company feasts. The records are at first largely of clerks' groups,and subsequently largely of troupes patronized by royalty and the aristocracy.The London troupes of Shakespeare's day descend from here. Also elaborate formalmummings (disguisings) were sent by the city to the court, and were performed aswell in company halls. Grand theatrical spectacles were presented in thestreets: at Midsummer, for formal royal entries through the city, and formayoral inaugurations. This collection makes a strong contribution to the knownevidence of these activities and of others as well.Anne Lancashire is Professor Emerita of English at the University of Toronto;she has published extensively on medieval and early modern theatre and drama.
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