Elizabethan Plays and Players

Elizabethan Plays and Players

Elizabethan Plays and Players

Elizabethan Plays and Players

Excerpt

This book is intended for those interested in the English Theatre, to show something of the world in which Elizabethan players and dramatists worked. There have indeed been many books on the Elizabethan Theatre and the Elizabethan Drama, but scholars and critics tend to keep to themselves. Scholars are not always interested in the drama, nor critics in the facts. Yet, although one may fetch infinite enjoyment from a play regardless of its history, one cannot study drama apart from its environment. To the making of Hamlet went not only Saxo Grammaticus and François de Belleforest, but Burbage, the Chamberlain's Men, the Globe Theatre, the Stage War, the melancholy of the generation, and the whole turmoil of life seething around Shakespeare as he wrote. Moreover, though some critics tell me that I am wholly wrong on this matter, I hold impenitently that authors and players are not less interesting than the plays which they produce.

Years ago I first attempted a sketch of the conditions of Elizabethan drama in a little book called Shakespeare's Fellows (1923), long since out of print. It appeared before Sir Edmund Chambers's vast storehouses The Elizabethan Stage and William Shakespeare: a study of facts and problems. Since then I also have learnt something of the period in writing The Elizabethan Journals. In this book I have incorporated such parts of Shakespeare's Fellows as seemed worth keeping. Elizabethan Plays and Players covers the period from the building of the Theatre in 1576 to the death . . .

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