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248Comparative Drama Death smites him) is hardly appropriate to the window, in which he is already in it. In fact the window is matched by other iconography unconnected with the drama (the Viennese Lutwin manuscript has a similar picture, including accoutrements such as a chamber pot: see M-B. Halford, Illustration and Text in Lutwin's Eva undAdam, Göppingen: Kümmerle, 1980, ill. 24). Thebest that can really be said is that the Ordinalia and the windows demonstrate a knowledge of the Vita Adae/Holy Rood complex which is unusual, but not unknown, so that using them as evidence for dramatic performance has to be treated very carefully indeed, and only after closer scrutiny oficonographie traditions. This is a programmatic question for the series. As indicated, specialized appendices present parts ofthe Cornish plays and also the relevant passages from the Vocabularium Cornicum, plus material on hurling and on the plen-an-gwary. There are lists ofgroups ofplayers, plus full Latin and English glossaries covering both parts of the work, and while minor criticisms are of course always possible, the usefulness of the whole remains unquestioned, and the volume as a whole constitutes a valuable addition to an established series. Brian Murdoch University ofStirling, Scotland Scott McMillin and Sally-Beth MacLean. The Queen's Men and theirPlays. Cambridge: CambridgeUniversityPress, 1998. Pp. xvii + 234. (including 3 Appendices). $59.95. In this book on the Queen's Men, McMillin and MacLean suggest a fresh approach to the study ofearly modern English plays: a focus on acting companies as a means of organizing knowledge of the theater in this period rather then the usual rubrics of the development of a dramatist's art or genre study, the Queen's Men was active throughout the 1580s in London, but, as McMillin and MacLean show, it was primarily a touring company and probably intended to be one. No record oftheir London performances after 1594 has been found, but the company continued touring until after the turn ofthe century in cities, towns, and great houses throughout England. Explaining why The Queen's Men was formed, to what purposes, and to what effects occupies the bulk ofthe book. Sir Francis Walsingham created The Queen's Men in 1583, in consultation with Edmund Tilney, Master of the Revels, by skimming off the best actors at work in other acting companies, including RichardTarlton,RobertWilson,John Adams, John Bendey, John Singer, and John Lanham. McMillin and MacLean Reviews249 suggest that this creation ofan elite acting group not onlybefitted their named patron, whom they represented, but also served subde, more nefarious, purposes . The authors, noting that Elizabeth I had preferred the children's companies before 1583, argue that the creation of the Queen's Men signals a shift in court politics, not only within the court but also in how it articulated its involvement in London's politics and the country as a whole. The Queen's Men may have been intentionally created as a touring company, both to promote Elizabeth's political agendas (hence the company's name) through a marked preference for performing English history plays and to spy on those suspected ofundermining those agendas, especially recusant aristocratic households and areas. McMillin and MacLean shape the case for this argument through careful documentation ofthe company's known whereabouts between 1582 and 1603 and through thoughtful analysis of its actors (both identified in Appendices). The first chapters, perhaps the most provocative in this study, discuss how city politics and the court's may have colluded in the creation ofThe Queen's Men to control potential civic unrest associated with the growth in popular theaters —problems ofcrowd control, forexample,and Sundayperformances. Royal edicts and the formation ofThe Queen's Men in effect curtailed the proliferation of theaters and allowed for more civic control of those which remained. The acting company Leicester's Men was gutted by the creation ofThe Queen's Men, and to the purpose, according to the authors, who argue that the alliance between Robert Dudley, Earl ofLeicester, and Walsingham on the issue ofProtestant reform and containment of radical, Puritan-inspired, antitheatricalism inspired the birth ofthe new company. That Leicester frequendy used theatrics presented to the Court to advance...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1936-1637
Print ISSN
0010-4078
Pages
pp. 248-251
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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