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

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

by Douglas A. Brooks
     
 

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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

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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.

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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521034869
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
11/28/2006
Series:
Cambridge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture Series, #36
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
316
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.71(d)

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