Bartholmew Fair

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A. & C. Black, Apr 20, 2007 - Drama - 189 pages
11 Reviews
The fair of St. Bartholmew, an annual summer carnival, offered Londoners an event to indulge their need for bodily delights and festival exuberance. The setting serves as Jonson's opportunity to†dissect a wide cross-section of Londoners and their various reasons for spending a day out among the booths, stalls, smells and noises of the fair. Unusually magnanimous for a Jonsonian city comedy, the main thrust of the satire is not against fools, madmen, fortune-hunters, cuckolds or prostitutes, but against hypocrisy and bigotry. †This edition shows that the play can be read as a comprehensive refutation of puritanism and the London magistracy, both of whom were attacking the theatre (and the festive culture of which it was still part) as idolatrous, seditious and disorderly. Ben Johnson, a contemporary of William Shakespeare, was an English Renaissance dramatist, poet and actor.

Alexander Leggatt is Professor of English at University College, University of Toronto.

G. R. Hibbard was Emeritus Professor of English, University of Waterloo, Ontario. The fair of St. Bartholmew, an annual summer carnival, offered Londoners an event to indulge their need for bodily delights and festival exuberance. The setting serves as Jonson's opportunity to†dissect a wide cross-section of Londoners and their various reasons for spending a day out among the booths, stalls, smells and noises of the fair. Unusually magnanimous for a Jonsonian city comedy, the main thrust of the satire is not against fools, madmen, fortune-hunters, cuckolds or prostitutes, but against hypocrisy and bigotry.

This edition shows that the play can be read as a comprehensive refutation of puritanism and the London magistracy, both of whom were attacking the theatre (and the festive culture of which it was still part) as idolatrous, seditious and disorderly.

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Review: Bartholomew Fair

User Review  - Sam Wescott - Goodreads

I was fond of many of the characters in this play and, as always, enjoyed Jonson's wit and biting criticisms. I didn't enjoy this one quite as much as the Alchemist, though, because the pacing seemed ... Read full review

Review: Bartholomew Fair

User Review  - sologdin - Goodreads

pepys saw this twice and loved it with the puppet show, wherein the Anabaptist loses an argument with a puppet. Read full review

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About the author (2007)

Editor Alexander Leggatt is Professor of English at University College, University of Toronto. †Editor G. R. Hibbard was Emeritus Professor of English, University of Waterloo, Ontario.

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