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Reviews 281 have been the inaugural occasion for Edgar, as he would not have postponed his consecration for fifteen years. This m a y have been the occasion of ^tfthryth's consecration, as the inauguration of queens had not always been made at the time of then marriage with the king—the anointing ritual for Queen Ermentrude did not take place until some twenty five years after her marriage to Charles the Bald— however, it is far from 'certain' that this was the time of ^lfthryth's anointing, and there is no evidence for any queen's being anointed twice as consort of the same king. But this is a slight detail in an otherwise weU-constructed discussion of the queenship of E m m a and Edith. The first chapter might be somewhat discouraging to anyone not famiUar with the events, or the chronicles and other sources of the period. The approach taken in this chapter is obscure and Stafford repeatedly refers to 'the chronicler' although there are many of these and w e are never sure which particular chronicle w e are being told about; for example, on page 8 there is a reference to '^thehed's chronicle', but it is not clear which one this m a y be. In general, the expression in this chapter is difficult; in many cases paragraphs need to be reread to clarify the sense of some sentences. The final paragraph attempts to conflate images from the stories of E m m a and Edith through Godfrey's poems, but the expression becomes somewhat enigmatic. However, this sUght problem only exists in this first chapter and the remaining eight chapters are entirely clear and accessible. JuUe A n n Smith Department of History Massey University Stokes, James, ed., Records of Early English Drama: Somerset, includi Bath ed. by Robert J . Alexander, Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 2 vols, 1996; cloth; pp. xi, 1140; 3 maps; R.R.P. US$175.00,£130.00. If you have ever wondered what a hoggler' was and what the practice of hoggling' involved, the vagueness of the definition in the Oxford English Dictionary wiU not have been of much assistance. The 282 Reviews answer to this question and to many others relating to local customs, traditional entertainments and fund raising enterprises in medieval and early modern Somerset can be found in the 1996 volumes from the Records of Early EngUsh Drama series. James Stokes and Robert Alexander have assembled a broad view of drama in the life of the county, with material that can give us an insight into everything from a drunken yokel's performance of lewd dances to a gentleman's interest in the latest plays at the Globe in London. One of the exciting features that distinguishes this collection from others in the R E E D series to date is that, quite by chance, the information that has survived is concentrated in the period between the early days of Henry VIII's Reformation and the Civil War. Understandably, perhaps, w e find in its pages evidence of concerted establishment opposition to dramatic entertainments and traditional amusements as weU as a record of a stubborn continuation of such practices on the part of the local inhabitants.Somerset offers a treasure trove of enticing detaUs for the researcher to explore further. James Stokes himself has already written on a number of dramatic traditions in the county, most recently on 'Bull and Bear Baiting: The Gentles' Sport', in English Parish Drama, ed. A. Johnston and W . Husken, Amsterdam, 1996, pp. 65-80. There are, however, other issues raised by the material in this pubUcation that require more extensive explication than has been possible in the wide ranging introduction. One such issue is the matter of the relationship between the church and drama. If w e can judge from the 1337-38 statutes of Wells Cathedral, it would appear that, in this county, the use of church property as performance space was a long standing tradition. Even at this early date, the church authorities had to guard against possible offences within the cathedral with the vicars presenting stage plays or bringing in 'likenesses of ghosts (or...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1832-8334
Print ISSN
0313-6221
Pages
pp. 281-284
Launched on MUSE
2013-04-03
Open Access
No
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