From Playhouse to Printing House: Drama and Authorship in Early Modern England

Overview

This original study examines how Shakespeare and his contemporaries made the difficult transition from writing plays for the theater to publishing them as literary works. Douglas Brooks analyzes how and why certain plays found their way into print while many others failed to do so and looks at the role played by the Renaissance book trade in shaping literary reputations. Incorporating many finely-observed typographical illustrations, this book focuses on plays by Shakespeare, Jonson, Webster, and Beaumont and ...
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Overview

This original study examines how Shakespeare and his contemporaries made the difficult transition from writing plays for the theater to publishing them as literary works. Douglas Brooks analyzes how and why certain plays found their way into print while many others failed to do so and looks at the role played by the Renaissance book trade in shaping literary reputations. Incorporating many finely-observed typographical illustrations, this book focuses on plays by Shakespeare, Jonson, Webster, and Beaumont and Fletcher as well as reviewing the complicated publication history of Thomas Heywood's work.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Brooks...contribute[s] to our understanding both of authorship...and of the role of the printing house rather than copyright in creating the 'author.'" Renaissance Quarterly

"Incisive and insightful...has much to offer scholars and students interested in the publication and marketing history of Renaissance dramatic texts. This well-researched, thoughtful book raises worthwhile questions and opens fresh perspectives on the provenance and transmission of some of our cherished English dramatic texts." Modern Language Quarterly

"Brooks reveals printing as a strategy, a means of self-fashioning used by various playwrights and printers to different ends.... Brooks eagerly raises unsettling questions about the canon. He is earnest in describing authorship as a game, one in which the players are more or less skilled, and in which there are winners and losers.... From Playhouse to Printing House is a valuable addition to the study of early modern drama. In examining the evolution of authorship as a concept, rather than a practice, Brooks demands that we reconsider not only the traditional attributions of particular works, but also why these attributions were made in the first place." Sixteenth Century Journal

"A fine addition to Cambridge's Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture." Studies in English Literature

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Product Details

Table of Contents

List of illustrations
Preface
Acknowledgements
Prologue "Thou grewst to govern the whole Stage alone": dramas of authorship in early modern England 1
1 "A toy brought to the Presse": marketing printed drama in early modern London 14
2 "So disfigured with scrapings & blotting out": Sir John Oldcastle and the construction of Shakespeare's authorship 66
3 "If he be at his book, disturb him not": the two Jonson folios of 1616 104
4 "What strange Production is at last displaid": dramatic authorship and the dilemma of collaboration 140
5 "So wronged in beeing publisht": Thomas Heywood and the discourse of perilous publication 189
Epilogue "Why not Malevole in folio with vs": the after-birth of the author 221
Notes 229
Bibliography 268
Index 284
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