Skip to main content
  • Print publication year: 2004
  • Online publication date: March 2008

7 - ‘An example of courtesy and liberality’: great households and performance

The students and scholars of early modern theatre have focused primarily on the plays of the public stages, but long before the existence of the Blackfriars, the Rose, or the great Globe itself, private household auspices had offered cultural experiences that differed significantly from their vastly more famous progeny. Theatre historians interested in social history, specifically in the fundamental importance of patronage to the structure of early modern culture, have discovered that household auspices were much more significant in the history of drama than one had heretofore assumed them to be. During the past twenty-five years, many scholars have been working to attribute anonymous early Tudor playtexts to patrons and great household auspices. Feminist criticism has inspired some of the most refreshing discoveries in household patronage, showing that women took a vital role in artistic production in early modern England.
Recommend this book

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this book to your organisation's collection.

The Cambridge History of British Theatre
  • Online ISBN: 9781139054058
  • Book DOI:
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to *
Anglo, S., Spectacle, Pageantry, and Early Tudor Policy, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1969.
Astington, John, English Court Theatre, 1558–1642, Cambridge University Press, 1999.
Bergeron, David, ‘ Women as patrons of English Renaissance drama ’, in Lytle, and Orgel, (eds.), Patronage in the Renaissance .
Blackley, F. D. and Hermansen, G. (eds.), The Household Book of Queen Isabella of England for the Fifth Regnal Year of Edward II, 8th July 1311 to 7th July 1312, Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 1971.
Blackstone, Mary, ‘ Patrons and Elizabethan dramatic companies ’, in McGee, C. E. (ed.), Elizabethan Theatre X, Port Credit, Ontario: P. D. Meany, 1988.
Dawson, G. E. (ed.), Records of Plays and Players in Kent, 1450–1642, Malone Society Collections VII , Oxford University Press, 1965.
Dutton, Richard, Mastering the Revels: the Regulation and Censorship of English Renaissance Drama, Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1991.
Emmison, Frederick, Tudor Food and Pastimes, London: Ernest Benn, 1964.
Geertz, Clifford, Local Knowledge, New York: Harper Collins, 1983.
Grose, Francis (comp.), ‘ The Earl of Northumberland's Household Book ’, The Antiquarian Repertory, vol. 4 , London: E. Jeffery, 1809.
Gurr, Andrew, The Shakespearian Playing Companies, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996.
Hall, Edward, The Vnion of the Two Noble and Illustre Famelies of Lancastre and Yorke, London: G. Woodfall, 1809.
Honigmann, E. A. J., Shakespeare: the ‘Lost Years’, Manchester University Press, 1985.
Lancashire, Ian, ‘ Orders for Twelfth Day and Night circa 1515 in the Second Northumberland Household Book ’, English Literary Renaissance 10 ( 1980).
Lasocki, David, ‘ Professional recorder playing in England, 1500–1740 ’, Early Music 10 : 1 ( 1982).
McMillin, S. and MacLean, S., The Queen's Men and their Plays, Cambridge University Press, 1998.
Myers, Alec R. (ed.), The Household Book of Edward IV: the Black Book and the Ordinance of 1478, Manchester University Press, 1959.
Nelson, A. H., Early Cambridge Theatres, Cambridge University Press, 1994.
Riggio, Milla Cozart, The ‘Wisdom’ Symposium, New York: AMS Press, 1986.
Southern, Richard, The Staging of Plays before Shakespeare, London: Faber and Faber, 1973.
Streitberger, W. R., Court Revels 1485–1559, University of Toronto Press, 1994.
Westfall, Suzanne R., ‘ The chapel: theatrical performances in early Tudor great households ’, English Literary Renaissance 18 : 2 ( 1988).
Westfall, Suzanne R., Patrons and Performance: Early Tudor Household Revels, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990.
White, Paul Whitfield, Theatre and Reformation: Protestantism, Patronage, and Playing in Tudor England, Cambridge University Press, 1993.
White, Paul Whitfield and Westfall, Suzanne (eds.), Shakespeare and Theatrical Patronage in Early Modern England, Cambridge University Press, 2002.