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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: July ::
Philip's Close Shave
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1916  Tuesday, 31 July 2001

From:           Graham Hall <
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Date:           Monday, 30 Jul 2001 19:47:58 +0000
Subject: 12.1894 Philip's Close Shave
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1894 Philip's Close Shave

>Andy White writes;

[...]

>Well, yes, but remember that the Lord Chamberlain's men had just
>collectively escaped the gallows themselves, in the wake of the Essex
>rebellion. Their excuse? 'Look, _R-II_ was an old chestnut of a play,
>nobody does it anymore; but this was a command performance, and the
>money was too good to pass up." [Among the defendants was one of the
>editors of the Folio edition.] That was enough to keep their heads off
>the block.
>
>[...]

I would comment:

The picture may have been a bit more murky and there is strong
circumstantial evidence that the company (or most of it) was an
unwitting strand in the rope for Essex and his supporters to hang
themselves. Hence the indulgent treatment at the examination of
Augustine Philips. It also may have obviated too detailed probing and
exposure. There are a number of publications about this - most out of
print. A parallel degree of behind -the- scenes machination by the
establishment is to be found in the Gunpowder Plot.

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