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Constructing the Canon of Early Modern Drama

CAD$117.95 (C)

  • Date Published: March 2014
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107030572

CAD$ 117.95 (C)

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About the Authors
  • For one hundred years the drama of Shakespeare's contemporaries has been consistently represented in anthologies, edited texts, and the critical tradition by a familiar group of about two dozen plays running from Kyd's Spanish Tragedy to Ford's 'Tis Pity She's a Whore by way of Dekker, Jonson, Middleton, and Webster. How was this canon created, and what ideological and institutional functions does it serve? What preceded it, and is it possible for it to become something else? Jeremy Lopez takes up these questions by tracing a history of anthologies of “non-Shakespearean” drama from Robert Dodsley's Select Collection of Old Plays (1744) through those recently published by Blackwell, Norton, and Routledge. Innovatively structured so as to both dramatize and critique conventions of anthologization and canonization, this book also presents provocative new readings of non-canonical plays in order to develop an argument about the mutually constitutive relationship between history and dramatic form.

    • Presents a history of the early modern dramatic canon as it has evolved since the eighteenth century and provides historical context for regularly used anthologies
    • Contains a large number of short, provocative new readings of unfamiliar plays, giving those interested in unfamiliar or non-canonical works a starting point for plays with limited or no critical tradition
    • Develops a theory of dramatic form through which the canon of early modern drama might be expanded, and creates a productive and useful critical vocabulary that embraces the works of Shakespeare and his contemporaries simultaneously rather than in opposition
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "By moving beyond a Shakespeare-based repertoire, Lopez is taking a look at which plays were considered better than others, what kind of criteria were used in the making of those judgements, and especially how the works selected to exemplify the early modern era might change."
    Amy Arden, Folger Magazine

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2014
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107030572
    • length: 244 pages
    • dimensions: 231 x 155 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.45kg
    • contains: 1 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Early Modern Dramatic Canons: Origins:
    1. Excluding Shakespeare
    2. Trollope's Dilke
    3. What is an anthology? (Part 1)
    4. Collecting early modern drama, 1744 to the present
    5. Ejecta
    6. How to use this book
    7. Table of contents
    8. Autogenesis: The Custom of The Country (Part 1)
    9. Endless tragedy
    10. Negative canon
    11. Lamb in the library
    12. Dodsley's Hog
    13. Blunt instrument
    14. Fragments
    15. Comedy and tragedy
    16. The Mermaid series
    17. The Keltie exception
    18. The ties that bind: The Custom of The Country (Part 2)
    19. Hints of designs
    20. What is an anthology? (Part 2)
    21. Introductory
    22. Bullen's Nero
    23. Collier's Reed's Dodsley
    24. Beaumont our contemporary
    25. History in disguise
    26. The aesthetic under erasure
    27. The turn of the corkscrew
    28. Return of the repressed: The Custom of The Country (Part 3)
    29. The Changeling
    30. The greatness of English Renaissance drama
    Interlude: reading a bad play: The Fair Maid of Bristow
    Part II. Early Modern Dramatic Forms: Bifurcation:
    31. The Bowers Dekker
    32. Fletcher's Shakespeare
    33. Early modern dramatic form
    34. The Bloody Brother
    35. Early modern dramatic forms
    36. What is an anthology? (Part 3)
    37. Apples and oranges
    38. The sleepwalker: Northward Ho (Part 1)
    39. The war in The Shoemaker's Holiday
    40. The Holaday Chapman
    41. Laws of canon
    42. Rowley's sow
    43. Form in collaboration
    44. Love's Labors Won
    45. 'A sort of dramatic monster'
    46. What should an anthology be?
    47. The surviving image
    48. Other voices: Northward Ho (Part 2)
    49. Disappearing act
    50. Anon., anon
    51. Voluminous Heywood
    52. Ford's Webster
    53. Labored forms
    54. The Triumph of Time
    55. Moral Massinger
    56. No heir
    57. Apocalypse now
    58. Bedlam at Ware: Northward Ho (Part 3)
    59. Modern times
    60. Principles of selection and exclusion
    List of primary-text editions

  • Author

    Jeremy Lopez, University of Toronto
    Jeremy Lopez is Associate Professor of English at the University of Toronto. He is the author of Theatrical Convention and Audience Response in Early Modern Drama (2003), the editor of New Critical Essays: Richard II (2012) and has written numerous articles on the drama of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. From 2003 to 2013 he served as theatre review editor for Shakespeare Bulletin, and he is currently, with Paul Menzer (Mary Baldwin College), editor of the on-line early modern studies journal The Hare.

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