The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1782 Thursday, 15 August 2002
Date: Wednesday, 14 Aug 2002 06:27:12 EDT
Subject: Re: Stationer's Register
I refer to a previous correspondence (below) on the SHAKSPER with John
Briggs re: the SR. I wonder if anyone would be able to explain *why*
there are two peaks in SR entries between 1594-5 and 1600-1? I remember
John Briggs seemed to think I was wrong to think that a preponderance of
history plays entered around this time was significant. Apparently the
explanation is that some publishers randomly thought it was a good idea
to publish plays at the same time. Do we really buy this?
"Blayney shows that there is a low level of plays being entered in the
SR, except for two peaks in 1594-5 and 1600-1 (in each case 27 plays in
an 18 month period - against an annual 'background' of three). Given
the number of plays entered in 1594-5, it is hardly surprising that
there appear to be lots of history plays. In the circumstances, this
cannot be related to the number of plays performed or the number of
plays written. What seems to have happened is that publishers thought
that there was money to be made from publishing plays."
All the best,
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