Criminals or Celebrities?: Life and Death in a Georgian Prison

"Smugglerius". Convicted murderer, Thomas Henman (hanged, 1776) cast by Agostino Carlini.

What was it like to be a prisoner in Georgian London? At a recent London Historians gathering, I had the opportunity to listen to several papers about English prison life, old and new in, “Crime and Punishment – The Capital in the Clink”.

Nell Gwyn, Mistress of King Charles II of England

Nell always remained faithful to the King. He was her greatest friend.

Performing at the Block: Scripting Early Modern Executions

This thesis explores the executions of noble men and women in Tudor and early Jacobean England and the theatrical representations of executions that mirrored real life spectacles of deadly punishment.

Elizabethan child actors were kidnapped and abused, researcher finds

For young boys living in Elizabethan London, one of the dangers they faced was being kidnapped by theatre owners and forced to perform. This practice was even supported by Queen Elizabeth I.

Did being a shareholder transform Shakespeare’s writing?

Shakespeare’s experience as a shareholder in a theatre company transformed the way he wrote characters, an English literature expert has claimed.

(W)here Lies Arthur: The Curious Absence of the Figure of King Arthur from the Early Modern Stage

Ancient kings were a favorite subject of the playwrights of early modern England. There was, however, a conspicuous absence in this theatrical pageant of monarchy.

"The lying'st knave in Christendom": The Development of Disability in the False Miracle of St. Alban's

What none of these studies have examined, however, is the performance of disability at the center of the St. Alban’s episode.

The Singing 'Vice': Music and Mischief in Early English Drama

Amidst non-textuality and the resulting shortage of extant scores to serve as documentation of musical activity, even the most restrained speculative approach still leads to the conclusion that music and musicians were crucial both to the emergence of the interlude as a genre of household entertainment and in the actual performance of interludes.

Saints on Stage: An Analytical Survey of Dramatic Records in the West of England

This essay provides an analysis of the known surviving records relating to mimetic representation of non-biblical saints in a broad region of western England, from the north (Cumberland, Westmorland) to the southern tip of Cornwall. The question of how many of these references can be considered ‘scripted’ drama is addressed, and other categories (pageant, costumed guild ridings, and festive customs such as boy bishop ceremonies) proposed.

Devising the Revels

Revels were the result of collaboration by painters, sculptors, costume designers, poets, composers, artisans, and labourers in relation to whom an appointed supervisor (beginning in 1510 called the master of the revels) stood as what we might call executive producer and director.

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