EARLY THEATRE 16.1 (2013)


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0262  Tuesday, 28 May 2013


From:        Helen Ostovich <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         May 27, 2013 9:57:26 PM EDT

Subject:     EARLY THEATRE 16.1 (2013)


Early Theatre 16.1 is forthcoming in June 2013.  The journal is printed on paper and almost simultaneously online for subscribers.  New subscribers are always welcome.  See our website for information:





The Will of Simon Jewell and the Queen’s Men Tours in 1592

     Chiaki Hanabusa 


‘This place was made for pleasure not for death’: Performativity,

Language, and Action in The Spanish Tragedy

     Alexandra S. Ferretti 


Shared Borders: The Puppet in Ben Jonson’s Bartholomew Fair

     Kristina E. Caton 


‘Bound up and clasped together’: Bookbinding as Metaphor for

Marriage in Richard Brome’s The Love-Sick Court

     Eleanor Lowe 


Accidents Happen: Roger Barnes’s 1612 Edition of Marlowe’s Edward II

     Mathew R. Martin 


Old Testament Adaptation in The Stonyhurst Pageants

     J. Case Tompkins 



Hornpipes and Disordered Dancing in The Late Lancashire

Witches: A Reel Crux?

     Brett D. Hirsch 


Review Essay

Defining Tudor Drama

     Kent Cartwright


Book Reviews

John H. Astington. Actors and Acting in Shakespeare’s Time:

The Art of Stage Playing. Cambridge: Cambridge University

Press, 2010.

Reviewed by Eleanor Lowe 


Janette Dillon. Shakespeare and the Staging of English History.

Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.

Reviewed by Patrick J. Murray 


Christina M. Fitzgerald and John T. Sebastian (gen eds). The

Broadview Anthology of Medieval Drama. Peterborough, ON:

Broadview, 2013.

Reviewed by Chester N. Scoville 


Charles R. Forker (ed.). The Troublesome Reign of John, King of

England. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2011.

Reviewed by Karen Oberer 


Katherine R. Larson. Early Modern Women in Conversation.

Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.

Reviewed by Sarah Johnson 


Christopher Marsh. Music and Society in Early Modern England.

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.

Reviewed by Katherine Hunt 


Kathryn M. Moncrief and Kathryn R. McPherson (eds). Performing

Pedagogy in Early Modern England: Gender, Instruction, and

Performance. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2011.

Reviewed by Yvonne Bruce 


Helen Smith. Grossly Material Things: Women and Book Production

in Early Modern England. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.

Reviewed by Christina Luckyj 


Ayanna Thompson. Passing Strange: Shakespeare, Race and

Contemporary America. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.

Reviewed by Jami Rogers 


Alden T. & Virginia Mason Vaughan. Shakespeare in America.

Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.

Reviewed by Alan Andrews 


Martin Wiggins, in association with Catherine Richardson. British

Drama 1533–1642: A Catalogue. Volume I: 1533–1566. Oxford:

Oxford University Press, 2012.

Reviewed by Peter Happé


Dr H M Ostovich  <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Editor, Early Theatre <>

Professor, English and Cultural Studies

McMaster University


Alexander Huang Speaks at Recent Congressional Briefing


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0261  Monday, 27 May 2013


From:        Hardy Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         May 24, 2013 10:11:05 PM EDT

Subject:     SHAKSPER: Huang Briefing


FYI: I have update the non-working link in Friday posting’s "Alexander Huang Speaks at Recent Congressional Briefing" and added a link to the text of Professor Huang’s speech, which can be found here:  


The corrected posting can be found below and here:



Alexander Huang Speaks at Recent Congressional Briefing


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0256  Friday, 24 May 2013


From:        Hardy M. Cook < This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         Friday, May 24, 2013

Subject:     Alexander Huang Speaks at Recent Congressional Briefing


GWU Dean’s Scholars in Shakespeare director Alex Huang drawing on Nelson Mandela’s, Abraham Lincoln’s, Wu Ningkun’s and other thinkers and leaders’ readings of Shakespeare to make a case for the humanities during a recent congressional briefing. Video: — at Capitol Hill, Washington, District of Columbia.


Briefing on the Humanities in the 21st Century
Addressing National Security and Other Global Challenges through Cultural Understanding

May 16, 2013, 2:15-3:15 pm
Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2253, Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.
Sponsored by the National Humanities Alliance in cooperation with Congressional Humanities Caucus


Chaired by Eva Caldera, Assistant Chairman for Partnership and Strategic Initiatives of the National Endowment for the Humanities

Alexander Huang is Professor of English, International Affairs, Theatre and Dance, and East Asian Languages and Literatures, director of graduate studies, founding co-director of the GW Digital Humanities Institute, and director of the Dean’s Scholars in Shakespeare Program at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He is the co-founder and co-director of the open-access digital performance archive “Global Shakespeares,”


Other panelists include Eli Sugarman, Senior Director at Gryphon Partners LLC, and Carter Findley, Humanities Distinguished Professor in the History Department at Ohio State University

Founded in 1981, the National Humanities Alliance advances national humanities policy in the areas of research, education, preservation and public programs.


The text of Professor Huang’s speech can be read here:


CFP: Société française Shakespeare: Shakespeare in French Film / France in Shakespeare Film


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0259  Monday, 27 May 2013


From:        Douglas Lanier <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         May 25, 2013 4:14:01 PM EDT

Subject:     CFP: Société française Shakespeare: Shakespeare in French Film / France in Shakespeare Film


Société française Shakespeare Conference on “Shakespeare 450,” Paris, 21-27 April 2014

Leaders: Melissa Croteau and Douglas Lanier


Seminar 15: Shakespeare in French Film/France in Shakespearean Film


This seminar will explore the many ways in which Shakespeare’s work has influenced French cinema and has been adapted to the screen in France, from the silent era to the present, including offshoots and films which use Shakespeare’s works as significant intertexts, from Les enfants du paradis (Marcel Carné, 1945) to L'Appartement (Gilles Mimouni, 1996). Conversely, the seminar also will invite papers that consider how the nation, people, and culture of France have been depicted in Shakespearean films. The term Shakespearean films here includes all kinds of cinematic and television adaptations of the plays as well as offshoots (or spinoffs) that use the Bard’s work for sundry purposes and agendas.


This subject invites reflection on the traditions and methods of “reading” and presenting Shakespeare in France. For instance, one might examine Sarah Bernhardt’s famed stage performance in the role of Hamlet in 1899 and the filming of Bernhardt’s Hamlet-Laertes duel scene in 1900, reputedly the first time any part of Hamlet was recorded for the screen. The relationship between French Shakespearean stage actors, like Bernhardt, and their non-Shakespeare on-screen roles could be explored. More recently, the casting of Sophie Marceau in Hoffman’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1999) or the cameo appearance of Gérard Depardieu in Branagh’s Hamlet might warrant analysis of how the French identity of actors is used in English-language adaptations. In addition, the many cinematic adaptations of Henry V offer fertile ground for investigating how the French are represented in Shakespeare’s work and are then translated into film at pivotal historical moments, such as Sir Laurence Olivier’s Henry V, which was filmed during World War II and features a mise-en-scène derived self-consciously from the Duc de Berry’s medieval Book of Hours. Or one might explore how explicitly French settings in some of Shakespeare plays—Love’s Labour’s Lost and All’s Well That Ends Well in particular—have been handled in screen adaptations. Furthermore, one could examine the reception of cinematic Shakespeare in France, as Sarah Hatchuel has done with Kenneth Branagh’s work. The place of Shakespeare in French cinema and the place of France in Shakespearean cinema also has been investigated in the work of Nathalie Vienne-Guerrin and Patricia Dorval, who have been pioneering a website that catalogues and analyzes Shakespearean allusions in French film. Last but not least, one might examine the kinds of cultural work done by Shakespeare references, explicit and implicit, in particular French films, in certain film genres in France, at certain periods in French cinema, or in the oeuvre of a French director. To what audiences are such references directed? How are such references understood within a French cultural context? How do such references (re)conceptualize the nature and influence of Shakespeare’s work? To what extent can one speak of a distinctively French approach to adapting Shakespeare to the screen? 


We are planning to edit a collection of essays from the submitted papers, so we are especially interested in contributions that seminar members wish to develop for publication.


Seminar Structure: This seminar will include up to twenty members, and seminar papers should be 3,000 to 4,000 words in length. Members will read all the seminar papers but will respond in detail via email to three other papers before the seminar meets.


Submissions should be sent by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. AND This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Please include the following with your proposal:


• the full title of your paper;

• a 250-400 word description of your paper;

• your name, postal address and e-mail address;

• your institutional affiliation and position;

• a short bionote;

• AV requirements (if any). 


Deadline for proposals: 10 August 2013

Notification of acceptance: 30 August 2013

Playhouse Mss and Tiffany Stern’s DOCUMENTS OF PERFORMANCE


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0260  Monday, 27 May 2013


From:        Steve Urkowitz <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         May 24, 2013 4:43:42 PM EDT

Subject:     Playhouse Mss and Tiffany Stern’s DOCUMENTS OF PERFORMANCE


For those continuing interest in those early playhouses and the performances that happened in them, I heartily recommend Tiffany Stern’s DOCUMENTS OF PERFORMANCE IN EARLY MODERN ENGLAND (Cambridge, 2009). I’m only just getting into it, like page 22, but like so much of Stern’s work it’s already eye-popping, myth-deflating, witty, and illustrated profusely with vivid examples never before published or noticed only to have been forgotten. She puts just about all previous scholarship to shame, as if she were a self-created Google engine that sweeps through archives unopened for centuries, laying out tasty bits for our enjoyment. An academic Ariel for our delight.


I’d love to hear responses to this book from others on SHAKSPER. Alan Dessen? Gerald Downs? Gabriel Egan?  


Steve Urgooglewitz 


Simon Forman and Tannenbaum


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0258  Friday, 24 May 2013


From:        Gerald E. Downs <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         May 23, 2013 1:17:56 AM EDT

Subject:     Simon Forman and Tannenbaum


In their second paragraph on Collier’s “hundreds of falsifications” Arthur and Janet Ing Freeman rightly assert that “by far the more insidious mischief is by way of ‘report’ . . . e.g., ‘I have before me’ a copy of a now-unlocated text, or ‘A friend of mine informs me’, etc., etc.” (John Payne Collier: Scholarship and Forgery, xii). Although the Freemans devote over 1500 pages to their subject, it is not exhausted and their warning shouldn’t be forgotten. It applies specially to those documents among the massive “questioned data” (QD) accepted as “certainly genuine” (grade A, per the authors). Presumably, no one wants phony documents or reports taken as genuine; conversely, the genuine should be accepted. Collier’s hoaxes are often pretty certain. But QD’s may be accepted on faulty or incomplete investigation or they may be accepted for reasons external to inquiry; we want them to be true or we receive our opinions hook, line, and donut. Some ‘A’ cases should remain open, especially if smacking of the ‘insidious report.’ Such a one is “Simon Forman’s Book of Plays.”


Collier’s New Particulars Regarding the Works of Shakespeare (1836) is full of flunking QD’s. In this bad company the Forman Notes get an A. I’ll revisit the case as far as I’ve seen it, and from the perspective of Dr. S. A. Tannenbaum’s condemnation. That is, Dr. T condemns the Notes, for which he is himself condemned in the roundest terms (unjustly, in my opinion). First, here’s Collier’s ‘report.’


> When I was at Oxford, six or seven years ago,

> looking for materials for the History of Dramatic

> Poetry and the Stage [you guessed it], I heard of

> the existence, in the Bodleian Library, of a Manuscript

> containing notes on the performance of some of

> Shakespeare’s plays, written by a person who saw

> them acted during the life-time of the poet. These

> would have been a great prize to me [if not the Bozo

> who informed J.P.], and I made long and repeated

> searches for them, but without success. The fact is,

> that I was accidentally put on the wrong scent; and,

> had I been put upon a right one, in that immense

> receptacle of rarities, I might easily have failed in

> making the wished-for discovery. The MSS. were not

> then as well arranged as at present, and even now,

> without previous and correct information, the most

> eager hunt might someday be ineffectual. Not long

> since a gentleman of my acquaintance, of peculiar

> acquirements, was employed to make a catalogue of

> the Ashmolean MSS. only, and he, very unexpectedly,

> found among them the notes I had anxiously sought in

> a different direction. He instantly forwarded a copy of

> them to me (New Particulars, 6).


Tannenbaum objects to this report for reasons of no consequence if the Notes are genuine. Yet it fits the insidious pattern (and then some). As it happens, part of the story has been verified and used to credit the whole. I’ll get to that, but Dr. T makes these observations (condensed):


a) Collier could have said more of his first informant, who might have verified the tale and said why the Notes weren’t publicized sooner.


b) Where were Hunter, Knight, Singer, Dyce, Ritson, and Halliwell?


c) Why no details about the ‘wrong scent’ if Collier isn’t the skunk?


d) Why not consult others, including Bliss and Bandinel?


f) The report is worded as if the MS. had not been catalogued previously. Yet Anthony à Wood, Bernard, Ritson, and Philip Bliss all studied the document without mentioning the Shakespeare Notes.


e) Tannenbaum didn’t believe a gentleman cataloguer had found the Notes and “instantly forwarded a copy” to Collier.


So his case is alert to Collier’s vague introductory habit that in other instances is a dead giveaway. Provenance is so important that lack of records nowadays dooms claims of authenticity. Collier traded on his word until (and after) he was caught; and yet the Forman Notes escape the stigma in replies to Tannenbaum. Knowledge of a six-page ‘Book of Plays’ predating Collier could obviate further argument and save trouble since Dr. T covers a lot of ground; but a vague report is still a red flag.


In 1947 (RES 23) Dover Wilson and R. W. Hunt observed that W. H. Black began to catalogue the Ashmolean collection in 1830. He left a note stating that “I made a transcript of this curious article, in 1832, for my friend J. P. Collier, which he designed to print. He did so, but without the old orthography”; which seems to be taken as evidence of genuine Forman Notes.


J. H. P. Pafford (RES 1959) quotes Joseph Hunter, New illustrations of. . . Shakespeare: “My attention was first drawn to these notes of Forman by my friend Dr. Bliss (to whom everything of this kind at Oxford is perfectly familiar), at the meeting of the British Association at Oxford in the summer of 1832.” Tannenbaum discounted Hunter’s statement but Pafford asserts it is a


> “strong piece of evidence in favour of authenticity . . .

> because this is the first published record of the

> discovery and is in no way associated with Collier. . . .

> Tannenbaum believes that Bliss would have seen the

> notes when he used Ashmole 208 for his edition of

> Wood's Athenae Oxonienses (1813-20). There is little

> reason to think that he did not do so: it is true that he

> did not publish the notes; but it would seem that he had

> spread news of his find, for, if Collier is truthful (and the

> question must be begged), someone knew and had been

> speaking about the notes before 1830.


These inferences strike me as particularly weak when the alternative is a minute examination of the physical evidence by persons qualified to judge, as Tannenbaum repeatedly advocated. Taking the last statement first: if Bliss had seen the notes before 1820 he apparently kept the knowledge to himself (not even telling his pal Hunter) and Collier never asked one “perfectly familiar”; that’s reason to think Bliss hadn’t seen them. However, without corroboration the question is moot (unless it’s asked of the other silent early investigators). There’s no evidence Bliss provided Collier’s initial (reported) info. Besides, “if Collier is truthful . . .” is a nonstarter. Collier wasn’t truthful; he was a serial faker.


The only evidence that counts in these reports is their dates. To say Hunter’s remark isn’t associated with Collier begs the other questions. Collier asserts that “six or seven years” before 1836 he was put on a wrong scent. We can’t trust the date (1830) as far as his involvement, but that’s the year Black began his work. It’s a fair presumption that Collier discussed his (reported) search with Black, who copied the Notes expressly for the soon-to-be-infamous huckster. Further, Hunter’s date coincides with Black’s “discovery.” There’s no reason to back-date these checks; as far as we know, Collier may be behind everyone’s info. The issue may be decided on other grounds, but skepticism based on the insidious report syndrome is still a good idea.


Tannenbaum’s critics (Collier’s apologists, in effect) often seem naïve in their failure to realize both the forger’s advantages and his capacity for gamesmanship. For instance, Wilson assumes one simple item will “convince most people that Dr. Tannenbaum has troubled us all with yet another fancy forgery”:


> “Towards the end of the account of The Winter's Tale

there occurs the following sentence . . . 'Remember also

> the Rog that cam in all tottered like coll pixci.' . . . [In the

OED] under 'colt-pixie', of which 'colle-pixie' is a . . . variant,

> I found that the goblin horse was generally represented as

> 'ragged'. Hence the point of Forman's 'tottered' or 'tattered'

> . . . . Quite a pretty stroke on Forman's part! and one hardly

> possible except to one who carried away with him a vivid

> recollection of the play in action. Yet . . .  it was conceivable

> that Collier may have known [the expression]. Happily he

> himself provides the proof that he did not. The sentence I

> have given above appears thus in the transcript printed in

> his New Particulars: 'Remember, also, the Rogue that came

> in all tattered, like Coll Pipci.'1 In other words, he did not

> recognize the expression when he saw it.”


Collier apparently used Black’s transcript, which he modernized. If the original was forged it would be in Collier’s interest to distance himself from manuscript spellings and to take advantage of mistranscription. Nothing would be easier, though it’s hard to believe Collier wouldn’t want to see the manuscript he had searched for (if his tale is true) to apply his expertise. And is coll pixci “hardly possible” for Collier to have written? Collier had a world of trivia to work with and no one was better read. It’s no surprise that Black failed to recognize the phrase but he’s in a different category from one who picks the material. Dover Wilson’s argument has no value, pretty strokes notwithstanding.


Wilson acknowledges evidence adduced by Joseph Q. Adams from the Macbeth Notes that is more telling: “the writer, though professing to describe an actual performance, obviously relies to some considerable degree upon Holinshed”. So much for vivid recollection. No wonder J.Q. distrusted the Notes; they’re not kinds of writing that depend (in normal circumstances) on reference works for their haphazard phrasings. The probability that Forman would consult Holinshed is nil. So far Adams and Tannenbaum look pretty good.


Gerald E. Downs


Subscribe to Our Feeds


Make a Gift to SHAKSPER

Consider making a gift to support SHAKSPER.