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Theatre and Religion

Lancastrian Shakespeare

Richard Dutton (Editor), Alison Findlay (Editor), Richard Wilson (Editor)


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This important collection of essays focuses on the place of Roman Catholicism in early modern England, bringing new perspectives to bear on whether Shakespeare himself was Catholic. In the Introduction, Richard Wilson reviews the history of the debate over Shakespeare's religion, while Arthur Marotti and Peter Milward offer current perspectives on the subject. Eamon Duffy offers a historian's view of the nature of Elizabethan Catholicism, complemented by Frank Brownlow's study of Elizabeth's most brutal enforcer of religious policy, Richard Topcliffe. Two key Catholic controversialists are addressed by Donna Hamilton (Richard Vestegan) and Jean-Christophe Mayer (Robert Parsons). Robert Miola opens up the neglected field of Jesuit drama in the period, whilst Sonia Fielitz specifically proposes a new, Jesuit source-text for Timon of Athens. Carol Enos (As You Like It), Margaret Jones-Davies (Cymbeline), Gerard Kilroy (Hamlet) and Randall Martin (Henry VI 3) read individual plays in the light of these questions, while Gary Taylor's essay fittingly investigates the possible influence of religious conflicts on the publication of the Shakespeare First Folio. Theatre and religion: Lancastrian Shakespeare as a whole represents a major intervention in this fiercely contested current debate.

Manchester University Press, 9780719063633, 267pp.

Publication Date: May 1, 2004

About the Author

Richard Dutton is Humanities Distinguished Professor at Ohio State University Alison Findlay is Professor of Renaissance Drama at the University of Lancaster Richard Wilson is Sir Peter Hall Professor of Shakespeare Studies at Kingston University, London