In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

80Comparative Drama the parishe"; not appearing when summoned to account for his actions, he was excommunicated (p. 379). It remains unfortunate that some ceremonies which are quasi-dramatic such as the Depositio crucis for Good Friday and Elevatio crucis on Easter continue to be neglected in this REED volume. Bishop Hooper's Visitation Articles for the Gloucester and Worcester dioceses are quoted, but only in reference to prohibitions against undue noise, games, dancing, and plays in the church or churchyard (p. 350); these Articles also suppressed the Easter Sepulcher and attendant rites, which were regarded as superstitious. As early as 1548 Bishop Blandford's diary had indicated abbreviated Easter rites at Worcester Cathedral, though the Host was as usual taken up from the Easter Sepulcher and some of the traditional music was sung; not even these maimed quasi-dramatic rites would survive very long in the atmosphere of the Reformation. The text of a Depositio is extant in a fourteenth-century Hereford Ordinal and also in a printed breviary for the Hereford diocese printed at Rouen in 1505 (see Pamela Sheingorn, The Easter Sepulchre in England, pp. 159-62, fig. 18). Documents and texts as important as these to the history of drama should not have been neglected. Nevertheless, the immense value of this volume and of the REED project as a whole deserves to be appreciated. The records are capable of leading scholars to a larger appreciation and understanding of medieval and early modern drama and related entertainment, and hence may in a very real way provide ballast for study that will prevent the deadend criticism that has emerged all too often in Renaissance studies and in the examination of later literature, especially when the influence of a trendy methodology has been uncritically accepted. The most important recent works on medieval and early modern drama and theater—e.g., Gail McMurray Gibson's The Theater of Devotion or J. W. Robinson's Studies in Fifteenth-Century Stagecraft—have been informed by attention to historical and geographical contexts as they extend their methodology in ways which genuinely illuminate the context and meaning of the plays. Records will not in themselves reduce the distance between modern audiences and early texts, but a more clear recognition of the relationship between original audience and text—a relationship that significantly involves mediation by an iconography that was crucial to the reception of these highly visual plays—can only emerge from research of this kind. And the records are the only primary evidence that we have available to us when the texts themselves happen to be missing. CLIFFORD DAVIDSON Western Michigan University Berito Ortolani, ed. International Bibliography of Theatre: 1985. New York: Theatre History Data Center, 1989. Pp. viii + 1211. IBT 1985, fourth in a series that began in 1982, lists and indexes 5,049 "books, book articles, dissertations, journal articles and miscellaneous other theatre documents published during 1985 . . . [on] any aspect of theatre significant to research" (p. 1). Reprints, purely literary Reviews81 scholarship (except '"in journals fully indexed by IBT"), playtexts, and brief reviews of performances are excluded. An appendix lists 1,000 periodical titles that are fully indexed, or are scanned or are drawn on occasionally in IBT (pp. 1189-1211). Any articles for which IBT prepares an entry have an annotation that gives the geographical area of the theatrical activity, its chronological period, the type of study (e.g., historical, critical, histories-sources, etc.), and a brief summary in the form of a phrase or one or two sentences. Each entry also appears in multiple entries in a massive subject index (pp. 261-1033). a geographical index of countries subdivided into chronological periods (pp. 1033-1 164), and an authors' index (pp. 1165-87). Although bibliographies are normally not lively reading, IBT rewards the browser with unexpected discoveries and proves exceptionally easy to use, thanks to the excellent taxonomy of the theatre by which the entries are arranged. The IBT taxonomy, which controls how the entries are sorted in the main bibliography, first distributes them by types of theatre: Theatre in General, Dance, Dance-Drama, Drama, Media, Mime, Music-Drama, Mixed Entertainment and Puppetry. These break up into sub-categories. Two of...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 80-83
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.