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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: August ::
Re: JC at the First Globe
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0821.  Wednesday, 6 August 1997.

[1]     From:   Gabriel Egan <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 05 Aug 1997 13:44:41 -0600
        Subj:   JC at the First Globe

[2]     From:   Peter Nockolds <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 6 Aug 1997 11:16:05 +0100 (BST)
        Subj:   'JC' at the Globe


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <
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Date:           Tuesday, 05 Aug 1997 13:44:41 -0600
Subject:        JC at the First Globe

John Drakakis wrote

> There is a brief account of a Globe performance  of JC probably in
> the early autumn of 1599.

Assuming John means the Platter account, then "probably" is misplaced in
this sentence. Platter certainly saw the play on 21 September, but
described it only as "the tragedy of the first Emperor Julius Caesar"
and the venue as "the straw-thatched house". Both the first Globe and
the Rose had thatched roofs, and the Admiral's men did plays about
Julius Caesar in 1594-5 and 1602. The Swan too had a thatched roof but
it was closed.

So, the tricky bit is eliminating the possibility that Platter saw
Henslowe's players doing a play about JC at the Rose on 21 Sept 1599.
Steve Sohmer draws upon the Henslowe's account book receipts which
appear to show a dip in takings at the Rose when, according to Sohmer,
the Globe opened. But the receipts are a confusing and possibly
incomplete record. Henslowe's receipts end on 3 June and start again on
6 October, which might mean the Rose was closed for the summer.  (Carol
Chillington Rutter takes this view in _Documents of the Rose_).  But
records of the Admiral's men touring seem to START again in autumn 1599
(Gurr _The Playing Companies_ p255) and they get paid for performing in
Coventry on 28 Dec 1599 two days before Henslowe records a weekly take
for the Rose.

Must we give up Henslowe's records being takings at the Rose? Did the
company split into two groups, one of whom toured while the other worked
at the Rose? Did Henslowe record the takings of the touring company?

If the Henslowe record falls under suspicion then a major reason for
thinking that Platter saw Shakespeare's JC-the absence of such a play in
Henslowe's records for 1599--disappears.

Gabriel Egan

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Nockolds <
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Date:           Wednesday, 6 Aug 1997 11:16:05 +0100 (BST)
Subject:        'JC' at the Globe

Steve Sohmer appears to have misread one of his sources.  According  to
Thomas, 'Religion and the Decline of Magic' (p352, as cited, Sohmer
para.18),the traditional time for new ventures was 'the rising Moon',
that is when the Moon is increasing in light.  This seems to be borne
out by the quotations which Sohmer supplies (note 6).

According to rules given under the entry 'Elections' in de Vore's
'Encyclopaedia of Astrology' (Littlefield, Adams & Co. Totowa, New
Jersey, 1977) the best part of the lunar cycle for new ventures is from
three days after the conjunction of Moon and Sun to three days before
the full Moon, that is on those days when the Moon is increasing in
light most rapidly. The conjunction of Moon and Sun was not necessarily
an auspicious time for the launch of a new venture.

The conjunction which Sohmer has selected fell in square to the malefic
Saturn. (Venus and not Saturn which was the fifth planet in the stellium
in the constellation of Gemini noted in para.16) If the play began
between noon and ten to three Saturn would have been in the ascendant.
Both these indications are traditionally unfortunate, as confirmed both
by de Vore, by William Lilly's Christian Astrology of 1647, and
doubtless by many other sources.

If the proprietors of the Globe were following 'standard' astrological
doctrine of their day I would think it unlikely that they would have
chosen 12th June 1599 as an opening date.

Yours sincerely
Peter Nockolds

Richmond, Surrey, UK.

(I imagine that the 40 volumes of papers of Simon Forman give many
indications of Elizabethan astrological practice.)
 

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