James Shirley and Early Modern Theatre: New Critical Perspectives

1st Edition

Barbara Ravelhofer

Published October 6, 2016
Reference - 234 Pages
ISBN 9781472480361 - CAT# Y259382
Series: Studies in Performance and Early Modern Drama


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James Shirley was the last great dramatist of the English Renaissance, shining out among other luminaries such as John Ford, Ben Jonson, or Richard Brome.

This collection considers Shirley within the culture of his time, and highlights his contribution to seventeenth-century English literature as poet and playwright. Individual essays explore Shirley’s musical theatre and spoken verse, performance conditions, female agency and politics, and the presentation of his work in manuscript and print. Collectively, the essays assemble a larger picture of Caroline drama, showing it to be more than simply a nostalgic endgame, its poets daintily sipping hemlock on the eve of the Civil Wars.

Shirley’s literary versatility and long life, spanning the last days of Queen Elizabeth I to the ascension of Charles II, make him an ideal writer through whom to examine the distinctive qualities of Caroline theatre.

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