Licensing, Censorship And Authorship In Early Modern England

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Licensing, Censorship and Authorship in Early Modern England examines in detail both how the practice of censorship shaped writing in the Shakespearean period, and how our sense of that censorship continues to shape modern understandings of what was written. Separate chapters trace the development of licensing in the theatre, and the response of the actors and dramatists to it. There are detailed examinations of how censorship affects our reading of four major playwrights: Marlowe, Shakespeare, Jonson, and Middleton, and how the control of printed books compared with the regulation of the stage.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"...Dutton demonstrates his commanding knowledge of the Revels Office and the most important English dramatists of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries." --Ben Jonson Journal

Drawing on his 1991 study of the role of the Master of the Revels as the key figure in the licensing and censorship of plays during the period, Dutton (English, Lancaster U.) details both how the practice of censorship affected writing then, and how the sense of that censorship continues to shape modern understandings of what was written. He considers the implications for modern readers of the kind of control exercised. As a case study, he looks at John Haywood's a famous case of censorship for which rich detail survives. are words intended to frighten or terrify; it is missing from the cover and the CiP data. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312236243
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 1/13/2001
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Dutton is Professor of English, Lancaster University.

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Table of Contents

The Regulation and Censorship of Early Modern Drama
• Licensed Fools: the 1598 Watershed
• Obscenity and Profanity: Sir Henry Herbert's Problems with the Players and Archbishop Laud, 1632-34
• Marlowe: Censorship and Construction
• Shakespeare: The Birth of the Author
• Jonson: The Epistle to Volpone
• Middleton: The Censorships of A Game at Chess
• Buggeswords: The Case of Sir John Hayward's Life of Henry IV

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