The Shakespeare Company, 1594-1642

Overview

Created in 1594, the theater company in which Shakespeare acted and which staged all his plays became the King's Men in 1603 and ran for forty-eight years up to closure in 1642. Andrew Gurr studies the company's activities, explores its social role and examines its repertoire of plays. This comprehensive illustrated history will be an indispensable guide for anyone wanting to know more about the conditions under which Shakespeare and his successors worked.

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Overview

Created in 1594, the theater company in which Shakespeare acted and which staged all his plays became the King's Men in 1603 and ran for forty-eight years up to closure in 1642. Andrew Gurr studies the company's activities, explores its social role and examines its repertoire of plays. This comprehensive illustrated history will be an indispensable guide for anyone wanting to know more about the conditions under which Shakespeare and his successors worked.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...comprehensive...Andrew Gurr has written a definitive and most appealing work, which frequently glitters with the author's own love of theater and its members." Renaissance Quarterly

"An eminent scholar, Gurr brings both a refined (and colossal) body of research and sage insight into this magnificent achievement. He offers a richly detailed, pleastantly readable case study...Essential." P.D. Nelsen, Marlboro College, CHOICE

"Gurr doesn't explicitly say that the 'company versions' are better than that habitual overwriter Shakespeare's maximal versions. But the stakes in the argument are high — our vision of what we value most in Shakespeare, why we value it, and the notion of value itself. And so, in addition to being grateful to Gurr for the wealth of historical detail of Shakespeare's company, we are in debt to him for provoking anew this important argument." The Wilson Quarterly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521172455
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 10/31/2010
  • Pages: 356
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew Gurr is Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Reading. As chief academic advisor, he was a key figure in the project to rebuild Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London. His many publications include Shakespeare's Opposites, The Admiral's Company 1594–1625, The Shakespearean Stage 1574–1642, Fourth Edition (2009) and Playgoing in Shakespeare's London, Third Edition (2004). Professor Gurr regularly contributes articles on Shakespeare to publications ranging from Shakespeare Survey to the Times Literary Supplement.

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Table of Contents

List of illustrations ix

Preface xiii

1 The plan of 1594 1

The law of writ and taking liberties 1

The team 12

The social eminence of the Blackfriars 29

The basis for success 31

2 The company's work 41

Voices 41

Stage practices and dress 45

The changing personality 49

Travelling 54

Jigs 69

Music and musicians 78

3 'Will money buy 'em?': company finances 85

Company government 85

The Chamberlain's/King's Men's company accounts 90

Housekeeper finances 111

4 'Workes are playes': the public repertory 120

Primary assets 120

The Shakespearean sequence 130

Later innovations 148

Along the way 161

5 Royal loyalties 167

Practical support 167

Royal support 174

The case of Richard II 178

Jacobean politics 180

The politics of Beaumont and Fletcher 187

Caroline interventions 190

Later political consequences of royalism 196

6 The afterlife 200

The consequences of royalism 200

The immediate afterlife 201

The longer afterlife 210

Appendixes

1 The players 217

2 Documents about the company 247

3 The Sharers' Papers 271

4 The repertory 281

5 Surviving play-texts 289

6 Court performances 302

Bibliography 308

Index 326

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