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256Comparative Drama 234), and so on. It should be evident from the foregoing that the book is valuable on its own terms, and yet it falls far short of what it could have been with a little extra effort. Indeed, the defensive—even apologetic—tone of the introduction sends unfortunate signals to the reader. For example : "It is not possible, in what is to a large extent a fairly brief summary, to cover everything everywhere" (p. 2). "There is an imbalance in the length and sections of chapters" (p. 3). "The categories themselves are unsatisfactory" (p. 3). "Several things already emerge from this inadequate attempt" (p. 5). It must also be remarked that a stronger editorial hand would have trimmed the redundancies in the chapter on Spain and caught the error of Wirmark's reference to "Joan Bowles" as author of "The Summer-House" and corrected it to In the Summer House by Jane Bowles. Finally, $74.50 seems high for an average-length book without illustrations (apart from the two theater maps of Sweden). For the same price, there's better value in three-year subscriptions to Western European Stages and Slavic and East European Performance—each $10 per year and available from CASTA, The Graduate Center, City University of New York—and keep the change. FELICIA HARDISON LONDRÉ University of Missouri—Kansas City David George, ed. Lancashire. Records of Early English Drama. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1992. Pp. cxxv + 471. $125.00. The tenth publication in the series Records of Early English Drama, edited by David George, offers documentary evidence of dramatic , ceremonial, and minstrel activity prior to 1642 in a rural area with few major centers of population. Geographically and culturally marginal, Lancashire was largely isolated from the rest of the country by its position in the far northwest. Visiting entertainers from across the Pennines are not infrequent in its records, and players of various southern nobles (including royal players) appear; but players and musicians from southern towns are notably absent. The waits of Nottingham , who appear in the records of the Walmesley family of Dunkenhalgh for 1630—31, are the southernmost town musicians to be found in this volume. Travel in the northwest of England was certainly more difficult than on the eastern side of the Pennines, where the Great North Road brought more travellers to York, for instance. Moreover, the Ribble estuary, which forced the traveller to leave Lancashire to reach the Furness district from the southern half of the county, must have been a strong deterrent to northward travel on the western side. No doubt, too, the level of financial reward was an important factor. Reviews257 The relatively sparse population of Lancashire included no civic communities of any size, and none of these was particularly prosperous. Lancashire cannot have been an obvious choice for early publication in REED, then: a relatively sparse population, living mainly in rural communities, would seem to offer limited possibilities for drama and ceremonial compared to the major urban centers. The material itself is sparse, too, for the history of Lancashire has not been such as to encourage the preservation of documents. To begin with, the county is relatively recent, having been founded—almost by accident, it seems —in 1182. Nor was its independent history long, since the Dukedom of Lancaster was merged with the monarchy on the accession of Henry IV in 1 399. No doubt many of the secular records went to London for this reason, and, as tended to happen with record material, some of it vanished from the public records and reappeared in private collections, now to be found in the British Library, the Bodleian Library, and elsewhere . Certainly the preservation of record material seems to have been a fairly hit-and-miss affair, and the documents, such as they are, are scattered over many repositories. George's six pages of closelypacked acknowledgments are ample testimony to the resulting problems . It is not surprising to learn that Lancashire was originally intended to share a volume, as has previously been the case with Cumberland, Westmorland, and Gloucestershire, and again with Herefordshire and Worcestershire (although the latter made some practical sense because of the present administrative union...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1936-1637
Print ISSN
0010-4078
Pages
pp. 256-263
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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