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390Comparative Drama in very specific instances, the whole system was predicated on the fact that they existed" (p. 96). Examining such "specific instances" makes up the bulk of Dutton's book, and these are obviously too complicated to summarize here. Suffice it to say that he convincingly shows how complicated each instance necessarily was, and how the practice of censorship could change according to particular historical circumstances. Throughout his book he reveals a thorough familiarity with the work of previous scholars as well as a generous willingness to present and consider their arguments. Moreover, on points large and small Dutton himself makes many new contributions. He suggests, for example, that "the key to the role of the Master of the Revels as a censor had always been that he expanded court tastes and standards into the public arena" (p. 158), and that certain curiosities about the way the system functioned are "perplexing only if we insist upon looking for autocratic control or some modern-style efficiency in the business of regulating the drama (as distinct from the Jacobean practice of delegating authority and its rewards through the reciprocities of the patronage system" (p. 160). Dutton argues more consistently than Clare for the existence of a relatively relaxed atmosphere of lightly-veiled political commentary, made possible by the system of 'allowance' that centered on a Master of the Revels sure of his authority. This normally only broke down either when the actors mischievously tried to circumvent the system (for financial reasons, it would seem, rather than political ones) or when the structure of authority itself was subject to unusual tensions, (p. 246) Such tensions usually arose "when the factional balance itself was threatened ," and that balance, Dutton contends, "depended on a degree of mutual forbearance, a recognition by all parties concerned that the general freedom was ultimately in their own self-interest" (p. 231). Such a claim is typical of Dutton's tendency to see complex interrelations where others might see only polarized oppositions, and it is this tendency and the thorough scholarship which sustains and compels it that contribute to his book's great value. Although Dutton's final emphasis differs from Clare's, we are presented here with two thoughtful authors and two very fine books—works which engage each other and their readers in a reasonable dialogue, and which invite further study and reflection. ROBERT C. EVANS Auburn University at Montgomery l See my article "Contemporary Contexts of Jonson's The Devil Is an Ass," Comparative Drama, 26 (1992), 140-76, particularly the comments on anti-Spanish mockery in that play. This article also provides additional evidence for Clare's assessment of James' tolerance. For further such evidence, see my forthcoming book Jonson and the Contexts of His Time. Richard F. Hardin, Civil Idolatry: Desacralizing and Monarchy in Spenser , Shakespeare, and Milton. Cranbury: Delaware University Press, 1992. Pp. 267. $39.50. This book approaches the subject of monarchy from the perspective of sixteenth-century English political theory; clarified, it is argued, by Reviews391 Erasmus' writings, and with an interesting parallel from the ideas of the early Church Fathers culminating in Augustine's concept of two separate kingdoms—one civil, one heavenly—each with a distinct relationship to the citizen. For the three lay writers as for the theologians, it is argued, the idolizing of kings was precisely that, an aberrant deflection of worship due only to God. Hardin reassesses Kantorowicz's The King's Two Bodies, which he argues has distorted our understanding of Tudor politics by "importing from the continent an idea of sacred monarchy that was foreign to English political thought. . . . [0]ne may speak of 'the king's two bodies' as a useful legal notion in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries . . . . Neither Shakespeare nor Spenser, however, (let alone Milton) reflects . . . mystical attachment" (p. 22). The most fruitful areas of Hardin's pursuit for me lie at the beginning and the end of this work: one can see in particular how Milton in Paradise Lost continues the portrayal of secular kingship, "allied to the Satanic, not the divine order" (p. 171), which was found in medieval mystery plays. In both contexts the more the kings depicted...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1936-1637
Print ISSN
0010-4078
Pages
pp. 390-392
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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