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Reviews9 1 quondam followers from the London underworld (p. 121). Theoretically the book is problematic in ways I have attempted to describe. Even in working the new paradigm, it is inconsistent. Despite his conscientious attempt to offer socially inclusive readings of some Elizabethan plays, Champion sometimes falls into gender exclusive language, using "man" generically (pp. 71, 85, etc.), for example, and referring to "the spectator " consistently as "he" (p. 131). Given his argument for diversity in the plays based on the social diversity in Shakespeare's audience, Champion would surely not want to imply that women were not among Elizabethan playgoers. JOHN D. COX Hope College Eckehard Simon, ed. The Theatre of Medieval Europe: New Research in Early Drama. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991. Pp. xxii + 311. $49.50. This collection of essays is the offspring of a conference held at Harvard University in October 1986 and designed, as the editor explains in his Preface, "to help scholars of continental drama to join the conversation [already existing among scholars of English drama] and to encourage all of us to begin looking over national fences." Unfortunately, the present book has not achieved its aim, mainly because its format perpetuates the very imbalance it is trying to correct: five papers deal with the comparatively small body of surviving English drama (indeed, one of them treats primarily of Tudor plays) while the other (often much more substantial) language groups have only one chapter each. To defend this on the grounds of the greater body of English research is only to compound the error: there is much more being done in, say, French or German than can be properly analyzed by the respective editors in the short space allowed them. Nor do the English articles deal only with what has already been done. They include (quite legitimately since they have the space to do it) personal contributions to the subject in question, thus adding five more pieces of work to the lengthy bibliography in which, incidentally, though the English list is longest (with 140 items excluding Tudor drama), the continental segments are by no means short (German and Spanish notch up a hundred items apiece). Moreover, I noted quite a number of omissions in the French group, and others presumably would doubtless say the same for German, Spanish, or Italian. What is more serious, it seems to me, is the omission of a number of publications on comparative themes from the drama of Europe as a whole, presumably because they came under no one's brief. The unsatisfactory situation is emphasized by the presence in the "Recent Additions" of Stephen K. Wright's masterly and detailed comparative study of the Vengeance plays under the heading "Surveys: General"! Although the book must be deemed to have largely failed in encouraging what the editor calls "a major new direction ... to study European drama as a comparative field," it is nevertheless a useful introduction to 92Comparative Drama the different areas of study. The two substantial articles on the Latin drama, though pessimistic about much of what has gone before, suggest hope for the future. The extensive lists of new texts and records being published in all the vernaculars may perhaps encourage scholars to look at this field in a similarly European way: fifteenth-century Europe was not only linked by its Latin roots, but there also was trade and travel between the "illiterate" bourgeoise as well as the learned clerks. Music, art, and architecture transcended national frontiers, and many literary themes are equally wide-ranging. Why should not the drama which mingles all these artistic forms enjoy the same freedom? Then we might find the real key to the subject of this book. LYNETTE R. MUIR University of Leeds David McPherson. Shakespeare, Jonson, and the Myth of Venice. Newark : University of Delaware Press, 1990. Pp. 157. $29.50. Readers familiar with David McPherson's previous work will recognize many familar virtues here. His style is clear and precise, his tone is level and sober, and his arguments are based on painstaking research and common sense. The book is clearly organized and sharply focused; its compass is brief, its style brisk. In this case Dr. Johnson's famous...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1936-1637
Print ISSN
0010-4078
Pages
pp. 91-92
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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