A modern-spelling critical edition of The Thracian wonder

Nolan, Michael Francis (1994) A modern-spelling critical edition of The Thracian wonder. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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The Thracian Wonder is an early seventeenth-century pastoral drama, first published in 1661. The play is most noted for its title-page attribution to John Webster and William Rowley, which prompted three nineteenth-century editors of Webster's work to include Wonder in their collections. However, since then the attribution has been rejected and critical commentary has been unreservedly negative. -- This edition, like its nineteenth-century predecessors, presents Wonder in modern-spelling, with its verse, printed as prose in 1661, restored. Appendix A, the old-spelling text of Wonder, provides an easy comparison for the changes made in the main text. The commentary has been made as complete as possible. -- The introduction attempts to address and adjust critical opinion. Wonder's debt to its primary source, Robert Greene's Menaphon, has often been exaggerated, thus diminishing the impression of the creativity of the play. The authorship question has not been satisfactorily attempted; neither Webster's nor Rowley's claims have been examined. Rowley, at least, seems likely to have had a hand in the play. Also, the dating of Wonder, usually given as c. 1600, should be advanced to 1611 to account for a number of factors, including use of the music room and the influence of William Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale. -- The play, often dismissed as ill-constructed and foolish, is more sophisticated than has been acknowledged. Wonder does not simply repeat romance and pastoral conventions, but manipulates them. The play, an innovation of the citizen-romance, transforms the elitist pastoral form into an expression of popular entertainment and politics.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7037
Item ID: 7037
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves [336]-369. -- Includes index. Includes in Appendix A: An old-spelling text of The Thracian wonder.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > English Language and Literature
Date: 1994
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: The Thracian wonder; Pastoral drama, English--History and criticism

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