Jockeying Jony: The Politics of Horse-Racing and Regional Identity in The Humorous Magistrate
In their discussion of the two manuscript versions of the amateur household play, The Humorous Magistrate, Mary Politio and Sebastian Windle briefly note the playwright's omission of one character from the Arbury copy in the Osborne version of the play, a 'Scottish Jony, a horseman' with a strong dialect. This essay takes up some of the questions raised by the apparent erasure of this character, focusing primarily on the role Jony’s dialect and his profession might have played in his removal. In light of Polito and Windle’s assessment of the two manuscripts’ dates of composition after 1630 and 1640, respectively, my discussion considers shifts in Anglo-Scottish relations as well as cultural perceptions of horse-racing within that period as factors that speak to the potential complexity behind the deceptively simple solution of cutting Jony out.
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