Elizabethan Critical Essays

By G. Gregory Smith | Go to book overview

THOMAS LODGE
(DEFENCE OF POETRY)
1579

[Of Lodge's 'Defence of Poetry, Music, and Stage Plays,' written in reply to Stephen Gosson's Schoole of Abuse, only two copies are known, one being in the Bodleian, the other in the Britwell Collection. Neither copy has a title-page. The book was issued privately in 1579, and was withdrawn immediately. It was reprinted by the Shakespeare Society in 1853. The present version, which has been transcribed from the Bodleian copy (Malone, Add. 896), restores a few words and spellings which had been mistaken in the reprint. The text is very corrupt, and in some places defies emendation. Many of the errors seem to be due to the printer's ignorance of MS. contractions. In the original there are only two paragraph-breaks.

The accompanying table gives the earlier contributions to the anti-stage controversy.

1577. John Northbrooke enters his Treatise wherein Dicing, Dauncing, vaine Playes or Enterluds, with other idle Pastimes, &c., commonly vsed on the Sabaoth Day, are reproued by the Authoritie of the Word of God and auntient Writers (ed. Collier, Shakes. Soc., 1843).

1579. The Schoole of Abuse. Conteining a piesaunt invectiue against Poets, Pipers, Plaiers, Jesters and such like Catterpillers of a Commonwelth; setting vp the Flagge of Defiance to their mischieuous exercise, and ouerthrowing their Bulwarkes, by Prophane Writers, Naturall reason, and common Experience. . . . By Stephan Gosson. Stud. Oxon. Dedicated to Sir Philip Sidney (See Spenser letter, 16th Oct., infra, p. 89) The pamphlet has been reprinted in Somers Collection ( 1810, iii. 552), by the Shakespeare Society (ed. Collier), and by Mr. Arber in his English Reprints (New Issue, 1895).

-61-

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