Early Theatre https://earlytheatre.org/earlytheatre <p><em>Early Theatre</em> publishes original, peer-reviewed research on medieval and early modern drama and theatre history. Please click the <strong>About </strong>tab, above, to find out more about our focus and scope, editorial team, support for authors, copyright and green open access policies, and more.</p> McMaster University en-US Early Theatre 2293-7609 <p>Contributors to <em>Early Theatre </em>retain full copyright to their content. All published authors are required to grant a limited exclusive license to the journal. According to the terms of this license, authors agree that for one year following publication in <em>Early Theatre</em>, they will not publish their submission elsewhere in the same form, in any language, without the consent of the journal, and without acknowledgment of its initial publication in the journal thereafter.</p> Editorial https://earlytheatre.org/earlytheatre/article/view/5699 <p>An overview of news about <em>Early Theatre, </em>including announcements of new book review co-editors and two new assistant editors, as well as new initiatives for open access distribution.</p> Melinda J. Gough Erin E. Kelly Copyright (c) 2023 Erin E. Kelly 2023-12-08 2023-12-08 26 2 10.12745/et.26.2.5699 Witches In Space: Introduction https://earlytheatre.org/earlytheatre/article/view/5525 <p>The introduction to this Issues in Review entitled ‘Witches in Space’ sets out the critical history that forms the background work on the literary geographies of early modern witchcraft. The introduction first establishes the need for such work through an illustrative case study and then attends to the foundation of scholarship in the fields of literary and cultural geography as well as witchcraft studies on which this collection of essays builds.</p> Sarah O'Malley Copyright (c) 2023 Sarah O'Malley 2023-12-08 2023-12-08 26 2 10.12745/et.26.2.5525 The Devil at the Edge of this Book: Intertextual Ecologies of Early Modern Crime Narratives https://earlytheatre.org/earlytheatre/article/view/5528 <p>This essay uses<em> The Wonderfull Discouerie of Elizabeth Sawyer </em>and <em>The Witch of Edmonton </em>to examine how the multiple, conflicting agendas and intertextual relationships of crime narratives in popular print and professional drama manifest on both the space of the page and of the stage. Considering paratexts as part of the intertextual ecology of early modern crime narratives as they move between print and stage reveals materialized ambivalence about the relationships among the narratives themselves; the audiences consuming, circulating, and reproducing those narratives; and the criminals whose voices are both marginalized and authoritative in the story.</p> Emily George Copyright (c) 2023 Emily George 2023-12-08 2023-12-08 26 2 10.12745/et.26.2.5528 'Can you play that?': Moll's Urban Witchcraft in The Roaring Girl https://earlytheatre.org/earlytheatre/article/view/5516 <p>This essay explores the migration of witchcraft language from the rural environs in which we typically find it to the urban space of London in Dekker and Middleton’s <em>The Roaring Girl</em>. The play’s characters repeatedly turn to the language of witchcraft to describe Moll’s disruptive presence in the play, a rhetorical strategy that I argue seeks to fix Moll in place in response to her unruly movement within the social, spatial, and acoustic horizons of the city, and to ostracize her from London by reimagining her as a figure that only makes sense in the rural environs beyond its walls.</p> Andrew Loeb Copyright (c) 2023 Andrew Loeb 2023-12-08 2023-12-08 26 2 10.12745/et.26.2.5516 ‘Heaven guide him to thy husband’s cudgel’: Falstaff as Male Witch in The Merry Wives of Windsor https://earlytheatre.org/earlytheatre/article/view/5526 <p>This essay argues that in Shakespeare’s <em>The Merry Wives of Windsor</em>, when the merry wives dress Falstaff as the old woman of Brentford, they reveal his true character by visually associating him with a witch and thus force the men of Windsor to punish him for his crimes. Falstaff’s behaviour matches the social disruption of the male witch; furthermore, his position as a new and unestablished member of a community, his gender, and the fact that the authorities of Windsor are inept make it difficult for the merry wives to successfully accuse him without appealing to popular witchcraft belief.</p> Sharon Vogel Kubik Copyright (c) 2023 Sharon Vogel Kubik 2023-12-08 2023-12-08 26 2 10.12745/et.26.2.5526 Reconsidering The Battle of Hexham: A Lost Play by Barnabe Barnes? https://earlytheatre.org/earlytheatre/article/view/5454 <p>This note draws on new evidence from nineteenth-century auction catalogues to reconsider the question of whether Barnabe Barnes was the author of a lost play titled <em>The Battle of Hexham</em>.</p> Misha Teramura Copyright (c) 2023 Misha Teramura 2023-12-08 2023-12-08 26 2 10.12745/et.26.2.5454 The York Vintners’ ‘The Marriage at Cana’ and the Puzzle of Pageants Withheld from the Register https://earlytheatre.org/earlytheatre/article/view/5539 <p>Opening with the character of Architriclinus, the York Vintners’ pageant ‘The Marriage at Cana’ likely bolstered their claims over the right to search and sell sweet and other wines in conflicts with the Spicers and Mercers. The Vintners’ failure to submit their pageant for transcription into the York Register possibly signals resentments felt and privileges enjoyed by these specialist merchants – resentments and privileges perhaps shared by the only other guild to withhold their original from the city clerk despite repeated calls for its submission: the Ironmongers.</p> Leanne Groeneveld Copyright (c) 2023 Leanne Groeneveld 2023-12-08 2023-12-08 26 2 10.12745/et.26.2.5539 Early English Drama Records and Other Manuscripts from Coventry Destroyed Before and During the Second World War https://earlytheatre.org/earlytheatre/article/view/5367 <p>When Coventry’s central library was destroyed in 1940, valuable early guild records were lost. No consensus has emerged regarding which records were lost during the war and which records had been lost earlier. Identifying these losses is important, because Coventry’s records hold value for the city’s history and — since Coventry was a key site for early theatre — for Britain’s literary history. As this article shows, fewer historical manuscripts were destroyed in 1940 than was once feared. Moreover, the loss of one of these manuscripts is mitigated somewhat by new evidence presented here, which suggests that some of the manuscript’s source material survives.</p> Krista A. Milne Copyright (c) 2023 Krista A. Milne 2023-12-08 2023-12-08 26 2 10.12745/et.26.2.5367 Performative Print: A Printing Anomaly in The Coblers Prophesie https://earlytheatre.org/earlytheatre/article/view/5267 <p>Signature F2r of <em>The Coblers Prophesie</em> (1594) by Robert Wilson brings the reader to an abrupt halt – it contains a page-stopping stage direction in gargantuan type. This article examines whether the outsized print was a botched job by the printer Thomas Scarlet or an intentional ploy to engage the reader. The anomaly suggests that printers exercised agency in textual production and collaborated in the creative impact of printed material. Play-texts exist at the intersection of print and performance, and this case study poses larger questions about the complex relationship between the theatre and the printing house in early modern England.</p> Frances Eastwood Copyright (c) 2023 Frances Eastwood 2023-12-08 2023-12-08 26 2 10.12745/et.26.2.5267 'Participating Immortality': Memory and Performance in Middleton's Hengist, King of Kent https://earlytheatre.org/earlytheatre/article/view/4590 <p>Middleton's <em>Hengist, King of Kent</em> and its multifaceted textual afterlives dramatize memorial processes greatly dependent on the participatory experience of the performed event. These processes highlight not only that theatrical production is a means for preserving cultural memories, but also that the preservation of the past is inseparable from, and conflated with, the production of new theatrical memories. Remembering the past in the theatre — in the fullest sense of ‘re-membering’ as imaginatively putting dead bodies back together — goes hand in hand with the necessity of remembering the theatrical past, of recalling the play that vanished even as it came into being.</p> J. Gavin Paul Copyright (c) 2023 J. Gavin Paul 2023-12-08 2023-12-08 26 2 10.12745/et.26.2.4590 An Edition of Jonson’s Entertainment at Britain’s Burse and a New Letter by Collier on Massinger in the Athenaeum (1857) https://earlytheatre.org/earlytheatre/article/view/5265 <p>This article identifies two previously uncatalogued items that were published in the Athenaeum in November 1857, each of which is connected to the then-recent acquisition of the Conway Papers by the Public Record Office (now the National Archives). These include a printing of Jonson’s <em>Entertainment at Britain’s Burse </em>and a letter from John Payne Collier that seems to refer to Massinger’s lost play P<em>hilenzo and Hippolyto</em>. The former nuances the publication history of a work whose historical and dramatic importance recent scholarship demonstrates, while the latter offers evidence regarding Collier’s claim that a manuscript of Massinger’s play once lay among the Conway Papers.</p> Marlin E. Blaine Copyright (c) 2023 Marlin E. Blaine 2023-12-08 2023-12-08 26 2 10.12745/et.26.2.5265