Respublica: An Interlude for Christmas 1553, Attributed to Nicholas Udall

Respublica: An Interlude for Christmas 1553, Attributed to Nicholas Udall

Respublica: An Interlude for Christmas 1553, Attributed to Nicholas Udall

Respublica: An Interlude for Christmas 1553, Attributed to Nicholas Udall

Excerpt

The Macro manuscript of Respublica has already been printed four times: by J. P. Collier as the third item in the first volume of his Illustrations of Old English Literature, 1866; by Alois Brandl in his Quellen des weltlichen Dramas in England, 1898 (pp. 281-358); by L. A. Magnus for the Early English Text Society in 1905 (Extra Series, xciv); and, modernized, by J. S. Farmer in his Recently Recovered `Lost' Tudor Plays with Some Others, 1907 (pp. 177-272). Farmer also issued a collotype facsimile (by Fleming) in 1908. The editions by Brandl and Magnus contain some intelligent emendations along with a number of serious mistakes and a host of minor errors. The errors are less excusable in the case of Magnus, seeing that he had Brandl's text for comparison.

The manuscript once belonged to the famous antiquary Sir Henry Spelman (1564?-1641) and early in the eighteenth century passed into the hands of another well-known collector, the Rev. Cox Macro (1683-1767) of Little Haugh, Norton, Suffolk. Macro's library came into the possession of John Pattenson, M.P. for Norwich, and was sold at Christie's in 1820. On this occasion the Respublica manuscript, together with that of the so-called `Macro Moralities', was acquired by Hudson Gurney (1775-1864) of Keswick Hall, Norfolk, and they remained in his family till the Gurney sale at Sotheby's on 30 March 1936, when the Moralities passed (through Quaritch) to the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, and Respublica into the possession of Mr. Carl H. Pforzheimer of New York.

As appears from the foliation, which runs from 360 to 387, the twenty-eight leaves of the manuscript once formed part of a larger volume. It appears to have been preceded by a copy of the Glossarium originale de Iohannis de Laet, and to have been followed by antiquarian collections, copies of charters and the like, presumably gathered by Spelman, which are now in the Public Library . . .

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