Christmas, Newyeares tyde: A summary of works done and attendance given, 2018

The Elizabethan Office of the Revels begins an important section of its yearly account books headed "Christmas, Newyeares tyde, & Twelfetyde" with descriptions of "Woorkes doone & Attendaunce geven Abowte the new making, Translating, ffytting, ffurnishing, garnishing, setting owte & Taking in againe, Making cleane & safe bestowing of sundry kyndes of Apparell properties, ffurniture, & … Continue reading Christmas, Newyeares tyde: A summary of works done and attendance given, 2018

Engendering Before Shakespeare: Women and Early English Playhouse Ownership

This post also features on Engendering the Stage, a research project with which we are in dialogue that explores women, gender, and performance in early modern Europe.  Stay tuned for project blog posts from Engendering the Stage in the coming weeks! The crossovers between the research projects Before Shakespeare and Engendering the Stage were raised several … Continue reading Engendering Before Shakespeare: Women and Early English Playhouse Ownership

CONFERENCE RESPONSE: Reflections on the Before Shakespeare conference by Stephen Purcell

Theatre history is not so much about establishing fact as it is about embracing uncertainty, a dialogue between competing and sometimes complementary narratives. That seemed to be the guiding principle of this stimulating and exhilarating conference, and one of the central arguments of Bill Ingram’s generous and provocative opening keynote. Indeed, the conference had clearly … Continue reading CONFERENCE RESPONSE: Reflections on the Before Shakespeare conference by Stephen Purcell

Birthday Post: A Year of Before Shakespeare

We launched our website last year, on the date of Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary, with an introduction to the project and something of a provocation in Andy’s post about putting the Shhhh into Shakespeare.... The comments that followed have been matched by recent posts that have engendered debate and discussion amongst readers, including the creation by … Continue reading Birthday Post: A Year of Before Shakespeare

Post from the Past 2: A Week in the Life of William Fleetwood

Fleetwood to Burghley, 1584. William Fleetwood was a significant figure in Elizabethan London.  He studied in early life at Eton and Oxford before attending the Middle Temple and being called to the bar there in 1551.  He was a freeman of the Merchant Taylors (1557), a long-serving MP (for London in 1572, 1584, 1586, and 1589), and an experienced … Continue reading Post from the Past 2: A Week in the Life of William Fleetwood

“What is a house?”

Recently, I was lucky enough to attend the Before Shakespeare project’s first Advisory Board meeting. The above question, posed by Dr Andy Kesson, provides a good example of the project’s opening strategy. The board was keen to interrogate long-accepted terminology from the early modern studies toolbox, sometimes with disorientating effects (on this observer, at least) … Continue reading “What is a house?”

The Story So Far: First Advisory Board

The Before Shakespeare project held its first Advisory Board meeting earlier this month. These meetings offer the chance to hear thoughts on the project’s progress and to hear suggestions, comments, and advice (it’s in the name!) from the diverse and exciting array of people on the board—medievalists, an archaeologist, and a theatre practitioner and director, … Continue reading The Story So Far: First Advisory Board