Events and Texts: The Prologues and Epilogues of the Arbury Plays


  • Amy Scott Humber College



Caroline Theatrical Manuscripts, Prologues and Epilogues, Household Entertainments, John Newdigate III,


Co-editor of this volume, Amy Scott, offers a close reading of the prologues and epilogues that accompany the versions of the four plays contained in the miscellany Arbury Hall 414 (and provides these metadramatic pieces in an appendix). Contributing to recent scholarship that argues for the rich significance of such framing texts in early modern plays, Scott identifies a playwright who is both familiar with the genre from having attended London performances and attuned to the propensities of a rural and household audience and the ‘events’ that may have found it assembled. Further, she argues that the author invites and expects members of the audience to offer supplementation and emendation to the works. She thus places them in the context of the courtesy of a particular household (most likely at Arbury Hall) and in that of manuscript circulation among a midland circle.