Publishing Misfortunes: Recording Performance at the Inns of Court


  • Romola Nuttall King's College London



Misfortunes of Arthur, Inns of Court, drama, Stuart court, court masques


This essay investigates the motivation behind the print publication of The Misfortunes of Arthur, privileging its functionality as a record of court performance rather than the political significance of its circulation. Examination of the playbook’s distinctive and extensive paratextual apparatus reveals the authors’ involvement with print publication. In considering the bibliographic presentation of the dumbshows, this essay finds overlooked parallels between Misfortunes and Stuart court masques and thus repositions the role which Misfortunes, and Inns drama more broadly, played in the developing relationship between early modern English print and performance.

Author Biography

Romola Nuttall, King's College London

Romola Nuttall ( is an associate research fellow at King’s College London and has taught at Central School of Speech and Drama and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.





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