Old Testament Adaptation in <em>The Stonyhurst Pageants</em>

  • J. Case. Tompkins Purdue University - Main Campus
Keywords: Bible, seventeenth century, Roman Catholic, drama,


This article examines the relationship between the Douay-Rheims translation of the bible and The Stonyhurst Pageants preserved at Stonyhurst College in northern Lancashire. Going beyond Carleton Brown’s recognition of that relationship in his 1920 publication of the pageants, it details the ways in which the Stonyhurst playwright adapted the biblical text by combining scriptural verse and critical apparatus, thus demonstrating the playwright’s consummate familiarity with his source and his skill in adapting it to serve his needs. Additionally, the close relationship between biblical translation and pageant text connects The Stonyhurst Pageants with the concerns of English Catholics in the seventeenth century rather than with the suppressed religious play-cycles of Henrician and Elizabethan England.