Dramatists and Their Manuscripts in the Age of Shakespeare, Jonson, Middleton and Heywood: Authorship, Authority and the Playhouse

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Routledge, 2008 - Drama - 234 pages
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This book presents new evidence about the ways in which English Renaissance dramatists such as William Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Thomas Heywood, John Fletcher and Thomas Middleton composed their plays and the degree to which they participated in the dissemination of their texts to theatrical audiences. Grace Ioppolo argues that the path of the transmission of the text was not linear, from author to censor to playhouse to audience - as has been universally argued by scholars - but circular. Authors returned to their texts, or texts were returned to their authors, at any or all stages after composition . The reunion of authors and their texts demonstrate that early modern dramatists collaborated in various ways and degrees in the theatrical production and performance of their plays, and that for early modern dramatists and their theatrical colleagues authorship was a continual process. 

Extant dramatic manuscripts, theatre records and accounts, as well as authorial contracts, memoirs, receipts and other archival evidence, are used to prove that the text returned to the author at various stages, including during rehearsal and after performance. This monograph provides much new information and case studies, and will be a fascinating contribution to the fields of Shakespeare studies, English Renaissance drama studies, manuscript studies, textual study and bibliography and theatre history.

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About the author (2008)

Ioppolo is currently based at the University of Reading, UK.

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