Imagining time in the English chronicle play: Historical futures, 1590-1660

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Imagining Time in the English Chronicle Play: Historical Futures, 1590-1660 argues that dramatic narratives about monarchy and succession codified speculative futures in the early modern English cultural imaginary. This book considers chronicle plays-plays written for the public stage and play pamphlets composed when the playhouses were closed during the civil wars-in order to examine the formal and material ways that playwrights imagined futures in dramatic works that were purportedly about the past. Through close readings of William Shakespeare's 1&2 Henry IV, Richard III, Shakespeare and John Fletcher's All is True, Samuel Rowley's When You See Me, You Know Me, John Ford's Perkin Warbeck, and the anonymous play pamphlets The Leveller's Levelled, 1 & 2 Craftie Cromwell, Charles I, and Cromwell's Conspiracy, this book shows that imaginative treatments of history in plays that we would normally associate with the past also had purchase on the future. While of course plays about the nation's past retell history, these plays are not restricted by their subject matter to merely document what happened: Playwrights projected possible futures in their accounts of verifiable historical events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages199
ISBN (Electronic)9780191983696
ISBN (Print)9780198872658
StatePublished - Oct 19 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities

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