Alphonsus, Emperor of Germany: Reprinted in Facsimile from the Edition of 1654

Alphonsus, Emperor of Germany: Reprinted in Facsimile from the Edition of 1654

Read FREE!

Alphonsus, Emperor of Germany: Reprinted in Facsimile from the Edition of 1654

Alphonsus, Emperor of Germany: Reprinted in Facsimile from the Edition of 1654

Read FREE!

Excerpt

In his Literary Relations of England and Germany in the sixteenth Century,Herford makes the statement (p. 171) that "the score or so of early plays which profess to be founded on German history treat it with an open contempt much beyond what is demanded by the exclusive pursuit of scenic effect. Historic truth is not subordinated to dramatic truth but simply ignored." After characterising Alphonsus of Germany as "a crude and sanguinary travesty of an imperial election dispute in which the chief interest attaches to a wholly mythical love affair," he goes on to say that "the play is nevertheless probably the least unhistorical of the whole group."

The plot evolves out of the contention of Alphonso X of Castile and Richard, Earl of Cornwall, aspirants, during the Interregnum of the thirteenth century, to the crown of the Holy Roman Empire. The dramatis personce include a large number of historic figures, but the plot and the interpretation of character are for the most part at variance with the record of history. Alphonsus, who in the play is depicted as a monster of iniquity, was an inoffensive monarch who never entered the land over which the dramatist would have us believe he established so bloody a rule. The partisan alignment credited to the different Electors does scant justice to the stand they actually took. Prince Edward (later Edward I of England) never placed foot upon the soil of Germany and thus escaped the charms of . . .

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