Published: March 2008© 2008
504 Pages, 7.03 x 10.00 x 1.72 in
Continuing in the tradition established by previous volumes of the Records of Early English Drama, Ecclesiastical London presents the ecclesiastically-generated dramatic records of London, notably its parishes and St. Paul's Cathedral. Among the topics addressed by editor Mary Erler are parish calendar customs such as hocking and maying, parish pageant cars and costumes, and the widespread popularity of boy bishops and of Palm Sunday prophets throughout London. Erler also looks at St. Paul's choristers' theatre under master Sebastian Westcote and examines its controversial venue.
Among the many primary source materials examined in this volume are records from London's religious houses and parish accounts, as well as episcopal visitation injunctions and other documents of control and authority at the time. Ecclesiastical London concludes with ten invaluable appendices that look at subjects from Paul's Cross sermons to boy bishops. This volume presents a significant amount of new information about the history of drama in London, including discussion of a previously unknown performance by 'the clerks of London' in 1391-92, and the 1540 inventory of Henry Walton, which contains two substantial collections of costumes, identifying Walton as an important theatrical entrepreneur of the mid sixteenth century.
This extensively researched volume is an important addition to the REED series and will be fascinating to those interested in the history of London and of the theatre in general.