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Shakespeare and the Admiral's Men
Reading across Repertories on the London Stage, 1594–1600


  • Date Published: April 2021
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107434387

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About the Authors
  • For most of the 1590s, the Admiral's Men were the main competitors of Shakespeare's company in the London theatres. Not only did they stage old plays by dramatists such as Christopher Marlowe and Thomas Kyd: their playwrights invented the genres of humours comedy (with An Humorous Day's Mirth) and city comedy (with Englishmen for My Money), while other new plays such as A Knack to Know an Honest Man and The Downfall of Robert, Earl of Huntingdon were important influences on Shakespeare. This is the first book to read the Admiral's repertory against Shakespeare's plays of the 1590s, showing both how Shakespeare drew on their innovations and how his plays influenced Admiral's dramatists in turn. Shedding new light on well-known plays and offering detailed analysis of less familiar ones, it offers a fresh perspective on the dramatic culture of the 1590s.

    • Enhances the understanding of Shakespeare's relationships with his contemporaries by offering new insights into the influence of Admiral's Men dramatists on Shakespeare, and his influence on them
    • Offers a critical survey of plays by a single acting company, the Admiral's Men, and provides an essential point of reference for the understudied plays of A Knack to Know an Honest Man, Captain Thomas Stukeley and The Two Angry Women of Abington
    • Provides a useful introduction to the wider critical discourse in repertory studies
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Tom Rutter's book on the Admiral's Men and their repertoire does an admirable job of detailing the complementary relationships between London stage companies of the time.' Paul Innes, Modern Language Review

    '… a carefully deliberated set of studies, undogmatic, alert to fine detail and, therefore, quietly enriching.' John Jowett, Cahiers Élisabéthains

    '… offers a valuable contribution both to theatre history and to dramatic criticism …' Tracey Hill, Renaissance Studies

    'By suggesting that Shakespeare was continually responding to theatrical development, Tom Rutter provides a layered and nuanced idea of what a Shakespearean 'source' - or equally a Shakespearean influence - might in fact be, and expands the field as a result …' Tiffany Stern, The Times Literary Supplement

    'Rutter displays deep knowledge of the plays he discusses and of the scholarship that precedes him. His book, lucid and economical in style, introduces new perspectives on the plays and lays out numerous intertextual connections. The book will have a long shelf life as required reading for students and scholars of Renaissance drama …' Donna B. Hamilton, Early Theatre

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2021
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107434387
    • length: 236 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 150 x 11 mm
    • weight: 0.35kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Note on dating
    1. 'How might we make a famous comedie': from A Knack to Know an Honest Man to The Merchant of Venice
    2 'Hobgoblins abroad': from Doctor Faustus to A Midsummer Night's Dream
    3. 'I speak of Africa and golden joys': Henry IV and the Stukeley plays
    4. 'Sundrie variable and pleasing humors': new comedies, 1597–8
    5. 'Nor pure religion by their lips profaned': Oldcastle, Robin Hood, and As You Like It

  • Author

    Tom Rutter, University of Sheffield
    Tom Rutter is Lecturer in Shakespeare and Renaissance Drama at the University of Sheffield. He is the author of Work and Play on the Shakespearean Stage (Cambridge, 2008) and The Cambridge Introduction to Christopher Marlowe (Cambridge, 2012), as well as numerous journal articles and book chapters on early modern drama. He has recently published on 'Hamlet, Pirates, and Purgatory' in Renaissance and Reformation, and on 'The Spanish Tragedy and Virgil' in the forthcoming The Spanish Tragedy: A Critical Reader. His article 'Marlowe, the 'Mad Priest of the Sun', and Heliogabalus' won the Early Theatre prize for best note in 2009–10. He is a co-editor of the journal Shakespeare.

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