English Parish Drama


This collection of essays presents the multiplicity of dramatic and paradramatic activity that flourished in medieval and early modern England at the parish level. The evidence here adduced is largely from churchwardens' accounts and from the records of the ecclesiastical courts. The book contains ten articles that consider the various money making ventures undertaken by English parishes for the support of the church. The authors study subjects ranging from paradramatic activities such as rushbearing, dancing and bull and bear baiting through more hybrid and problematical events such as the king games and Robin Hood gatherings and plays, to what can be considered 'true' drama with sets, props, texts and actors. All the contributors are editors in the Records of Early English Drama project and bring to their material the insights of scholars working with original material in what are still only partially charted waters.
»Ludus« intends to introduce those interested in literature, in the performing arts, or in history to the various aspects of theatre and drama from the Middle Ages and the Early Renaissance. It publishes books on closely defined topics, mostly seen from a comparative point of view.

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”… provide[s] essential and lively reading.” in: Cosmos: The Journal of the Traditional Cosmology Society, Vol. 14 (1998)
Alexandra F. JOHNSTON: Introduction. David GEORGE: Rushbearing: A Forgotten British Custom. Elizabeth BALDWIN: Rushbearings and Maygames in the Diocese of Chester before 1642. Audrey DOUGLAS: 'Owre Thanssynge Day': Parish Dance and Procession in Salisbury. James STOKES: Bull and Bear Baiting: The Gentles' Sport. Barbara D. PALMER: 'Anye disguised persons': Parish Entertainment in West Yorkshire. Alexandra F. JOHNSTON: 'What Revels are in Hand?'. Dramatic Activities Sponsored by the Parishes of the Thames Valley. Peter H. GREENFIELD: Parish Drama in Four Counties Bordering the Thames Watershed. David KLAUSNER: Parish Drama in Worcester and the Journal of Prior William More. James M. GIBSON: 'Interludum Passionis Domini': Parish Drama in Medieval New Romney. John M. WASSON: A Parish Play in the West Riding of Yorkshire.