Volume Twenty-Nine (2007): Summaries


Editorial: David Mills, with a Bibliography
METh 29 (2007) 3–16.


Ad honorem David Mills: life and work, with contributions from friends and fellow scholars. Comprehensive bibiography.


Elizabeth Baldwin

‘“Making a Song and Dance About It”: (Self) Presentation in “The Ballad of John Spenser, The Cheshire Gallant’
METh 29 (2007) 17–26.


Investigates the way in which the ballad presents the characters and their motivation in the murder case which it commemorates, and incidentally reveals the temptations that lay in wait for a popular musician of the early seventeenth century were not a million miles away from those of a pop idol of today.


John Marshall

‘“Walking in the air”: the Chester Shepherds on stilts’
METh 29 (2007) 42–59.


Reveals the answer to a well-known puzzle: why did characters from the Chester Shepherd pageant walk on stilts in the Midsummer Show, and did this have anything to do with the Painters and Glaziers’ Company which produced the pageant?


Sally-Beth MacLean

‘In Search of Lord Strange: Dynamic Patronage in the North West’
METh 29 (2007) 42–59.


Traces the career of Ferdinando, Lord Strange, later Earl of Derby, as a theatrical patron in the 1570s to 1590s, firstly of a troupe of acrobats, and then in the late 1580s and early 1590s of a second company of actors, the Lord Strange's Men, which attracted Edward Alleyn, Will Kemp, and other stars into its number, with plays written by Shakespeare, Kyd, and Marlowe. It follows their tour of 1593 in detail. After Strange’s ‘excruciating death’ in 1594, his company resurfaced as the Lord Chamberlain’s Men.


Pamela M. King

‘Playing Pentecost in York and Chester: Transformations and Texts’
METh 29 (2007) 60–74.


Compares the treatment of the Pentecost episode and its staging in the very different pageants of York and Chester, incidentally showing why it was considered a suitable theme for the York Potters’ Guild to produce.


Peter Meredith

‘The Sealing of the Tomb: N. Town and its Context’
METh 29 (2007) 75–88.


The Vulgate’s account of the setting of the watch on the Sepulchre, signantes lapidem (‘marking the stone’), was interpreted in commentaries and later translations as ‘sealing the stone’. Only one of the English biblical plays, however, N.Town, devotes an episode to the setting of the watch and sealing of the stone. This article compares the treatment of the setting of the watch in the different pageants before concentrating on the N.Town episode and its possible staging. The sealing of the tomb in the Angers Mystère de la Résurrection and a detailed stage direction on how the subsequent Resurrection is to be managed may suggest how the same stage-effect was created in N.Town.


Barbara Palmer

‘Cycling through High Water to Hell’
METh 29 (2007) 89–103.


Examines the concept of ‘figuration’ by an analysis of the structure, performance requirements, and mnemonic triggers of the Noah pageants of York, Chester, N. Town, Newcastle upon Tyne, and the Towneley MS.


Sarah Carpenter

‘“To thexaltacyon of noblesse”: a herald's account of the marriage of Margaret Tudor and James IV’
METh 29 (2007) 104 – 120.


The eye-witness account written by John Young, Somerset Herald, of the events surrounding the marriage in 1503 of the thirteen-year-old daughter of Henry VII of England with James IV of Scotland is not only a historical narrative, but a record of courtly ‘performance’ in its wider sense, engaging the reader in the experience of being a spectator to ‘the costumes, the settings, the movements and gestures’ of the public behaviour of the participants.


Meg Twycross

‘The King’s Peace and the Play: the York Corpus Christi Eve Proclamation’
METh 29 (2007) 121–150.


Places the York Corpus Christi Eve proclamation, usually seen as a Banns, in its wider context as a statutory proclamation of the King's Peace by the Sheriffs, and hence with the Sheriffs’ Riding. A detailed investigation of the Riding and its history on all four occasions during the year attempts to show the ‘What and Why and When, and How and Where and Who’ of the ceremony. The evidence also suggests that the York Corpus Christi Play followed an established ceremonial route.


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