In 1613, Thomas Middleton produced a civic pageant, The Manner of His Lordship’s Entertainment, to commemorate the completion of the New River project that brought fresh water to London. In 1618, Anthony Munday, in his revision of John Stow’s Survey of London, included most of Middleton’s pageant text in the history. Thereby, Munday granted Middleton an unexpected “afterlife.” This unprecedented inclusion of a minor civic pageant into a historical text raises several important questions, such as why Munday decided to do this and why it seems to have been an afterthought, given its curious placement in the Survey. A number of later historians also reproduce Munday’s account of the 1613 pageant but without acknowledging their source. They thereby grant an afterlife to Munday. Just as Munday never names Middleton as the pageant’s author, so these later writers do not name Munday. This “forgetting” underscores a paradox of historical writing: namely, as writers make history, they also erase history. Thus, the 1618 Survey and all of its subsequent variations perpetuate in varying degrees an “afterlife” for Middleton and Munday, but an “afterlife” tinged with loss and death.


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pp. 65-82
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