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Reviews 183 Japanese characters have apparently been forgotten between parentheses on p. 137, and the captions for the exquisite color reproductions of figures 18 and 19 have been reversed. These are minor quibbles in a volume which offers so much. LEONARD C. PRONKO Pomona College Leonard Tennenhouse, ed. Two Tudor Interludes: Nice Wanton and Im­ patient Poverty. New York: Garland, 1984. Pp. 217. $32.50. This new edition of two mid-sixteenth century interludes is based upon a collation of the extant copies of sixteenth-century editions. For Nice Wanton, this includes Q1 by John Kynge (1560) and Q2 by John Allde (n.d.); the reprints in Dodsley, Manly, and Farmer have also been con­ sulted. For Impatient Poverty, the collation includes Q1 by John Kynge (1560), Q2 (n.d.), and reprints by McKerrow and Farmer. The Introduction aims not so much to elucidate the plays, which Tennenhouse regards as “simple in design and crudely didactic,” as to use the plays to shed “some light on the milieu in which they were written and performed.” His position is that the sociological, political, and eco­ nomic changes which took place between the last years of Henry V M ’s reign and the early years of Elizabeth’s are reflected in all forms of dis­ course, including these two plays: “we find that not only literature but other kinds of language— legal, religious, economic—sought to convert a set of contraries, or equal but opposite values, into a contradictory relationship where one value replaces another.” In the tradition of Hiram Haydn’s The Counter-Renaissance and Stephen Orgel’s The Illusion of Power, Tennenhouse uses these two plays to illustrate the changes in atti­ tudes. While it is not always easy to see how some of the changes (two pages on the debasement of coins, for instance) are reflected in the plays, the idea of putting them into their historical context is an admirable one. Tennenhouse does make clear that Nice Wanton is a Protestant play and Impatient Poverty a Marian one; but in his eagerness to show that both illustrate the same changes in thought patterns, he tends to ignore what seem to be some rather obvious differences between the two. For example, Impatient Poverty is clearly a play for a four-man professional company written to be acted before an educated audience as familiar with Latin as with theology—an audience not very different (if later) than those before whom the Lord Cardinal’s players offered to perform it at More’s banquet in The Booke of Sir Thomas More. Nice Wanton, on the other hand, seems written to be acted by schoolchildren at a public performance before their parents. It contains an appropriate moral and the usual songs. Further, it shows no concern with any need to double parts for a small company of players; in fact, at Ismael’s trial an entire jury seems to come on stage. While the Introduction does have a useful section on dating and reasons for choices of copy texts, it does not bother to explain the need for a new edition of these plays. Nice Wanton is already available in two good modern editions, that of Glynne Wickham in English Moral Inter­ 184 Comparative Drama ludes (1976) and that of David Parry and Kathy Pearl for Poculi Ludique Societas at Toronto (1978). Neither of these is mentioned or consulted. Tennenhouse’s text is virtually identical with the PLS one, and both are quite readable, although I find the explanatory notes of the PLS performing text more helpful. There is more justification for a new edition of Impatient Poverty, as the most recent generally available text is that of R. B. McKerrow in the Materialen series (1911). But McKerrow’s text is so carefully edited that one would expect a replacement for it to be pristine. Such, alas, is not the case: I counted at least seventeen typographical errors in the text of Impatient Poverty alone, and more casually noticed several others in the notes. The regularizing of entrances and speech headings and the modern­ izing of spelling and punctuation make this edition far easier to read than older ones. Tennenhouse does not...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1936-1637
Print ISSN
0010-4078
Pages
pp. 183-184
Launched on MUSE
2018-07-11
Open Access
No
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