Hornpipes and Disordered Dancing in <em>The Late Lancashire Witches</em>: A Reel Crux?

  • Brett D. Hirsch The University of Western Australia
Keywords: The Late Lancashire Witches, dancing, dance, reel, hornpipe, crux, Heywood, Brome, witchcraft,


This note considers a potential crux on the word 'reel' in Thomas Heywood and Richard Brome's The Late Lancashire Witches (1634), as referring to the country dance of the same name as well as a whirling or rolling motion. Contemporary references to witches' dancing alongside the dancing of reels and hornpipes are discussed, and previous editorial treatment of the play is considered alongside that of Shakespeare.