Government Regulation of the Elizabethan Drama

Government Regulation of the Elizabethan Drama

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Government Regulation of the Elizabethan Drama

Government Regulation of the Elizabethan Drama

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IN preparing this essay I have, of course, obtained many suggestions from the well-known works of Collier, Fleay, and Ordish, and especially from Mr. Chambers’ admirable Mediœval Stage and Tudor Revels, which, in the portion of my field that they cover, have been of great use to me. So far as possible, I have based my work on the official documents of the time, in the form in which they appear in the authoritative governmental collections, such as the Statutes of the Realm and the Acts of the Privy Council. But in many instances, of course, I have had to use transcripts and excerpts made by independent scholars.

In the case of quotations of any considerable length, I have endeavored, so far as I could, to reproduce the spelling used in my source. I cannot pretend, however, that there is the slightest consistency in the usage found in my various documents; for the methods of transcribers vary greatly, — ranging from Mr. Kelly’s apparently exact reproductions of the Leicester Records, showing every curl and abbreviation, to such forms as some of Collier’s, which are quite modern in spelling save for the interjection of an occasional final e, and to the entirely modernized versions, such as Birch’s Charters. From the point of view of my subject, fortunately, this matter is of small importance.

All dates I have expressed in the new style, except in the case of direct quotations. In these few instances the reader should bear in mind that according to the old style the year began on March 25.

I desire to acknowledge my indebtedness to Professor William Allan Neilson, of Harvard University, who first suggested to me an investigation into some of the social conditions surrounding the theaters of Shakspere’s day, and to the inspiration of whose teaching I owe much. My thanks are due also to Professor William W. Lawrence, of Columbia University, for suggestions . . .

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