With David J. Parkinson (Boydell & Brewer, 2015)

“The full range of the variety and richness of London’s dramatic activity is revealed here, using the records of its civic government and craft guilds. The collection includes the major surviving Corporation and guild records from 1286 to 1558, while a detailed chronological appendix adds important supplementary items from the twelfth century to 1558, as recorded in city custumals and in some 100 national and local chronicle histories (written in Anglo-Norman, Latin, and English).

Civic London to 1558 adds substantially to the amount of published evidence of drama outside the professional theatres. By the late fourteenth century, a multi-day biblical play was performed regularly at Clerkenwell, a district on the northern edge of the city. In the fifteenth century, a significant number of London guilds sponsored plays in their own guild halls, typically employing the professional players who would anticipate the acting troupes – including Shakespeare’s – that were to build their own theatres in the late sixteenth century. London also saw a wide range of other civic dramatic activities, from informal “mummings” or disguisings with improvised dialogue to grand theatrical pageantry; this volume adds extensively to the known evidence of these activities.”

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