This review essay examines three recent studies of early English drama that participate in these conversations and also take them in new directions: Claire Sponsler's The Queen's Dumbshows: John Lydgate
and the Making of Early Theater (2014); Charlotte Steenbrugge's Staging Vice: A Study of Dramatic Traditions in Medieval and Sixteenth-Century England and the Low Countries (2014); and Kurt A.
The linguistic material subject to the present analysis consists of 17 Late Middle English texts authored by John Lydgate
5) Symes, A Common Stage, xi-xiii, 2-3, 8-9; Jessica Brantley, Reading in the Wilderness: Private Devotion and Public Performance in Late Medieval England (Chicago, 2007), 298-300; Claire Sponsler, The Queens Dumbshows: John Lydgate
and the Making of Early Theatre (Philadelphia, 2014), 17-21.
In The Queens Dumbshows, we encounter a John Lydgate
who perhaps needed to await the technological advances of recent decades and the proliferation of hybrid and multimedia forms that accompanied them in order to gain full recognition for the boldness of his own literary and performative experiments.
After a brief introduction, Bale and Edwards present a critical edition of the lives of two Anglo-Saxon saints as told by the fifteenth-century writer John Lydgate
, along with the "extra miracles" of St.
Having exploded the persecuting template as a historiographical invention in the central chapters of his book, Cole turns to the literary manifestations of his more variegated culture to offer post-Wyclifite readings of a rich selection from the late 14th- and 15th-century vernacular canon, including William Langland, Geoffrey Chaucer, John Lydgate
and Margery Kempe.
29) John Lydgate
, This lytell treatyse compendiously declareth the damage and destruction in realmes caused by the serpente of diuision (London, ; STC 17027.
Miskimin, Stanley Howard Johnston, and earlier by Eleanor Prescott Hammond, among others--Gillespie contributes substantially here to the restoration of the Renaissance reputation of the medieval poet John Lydgate
, for whom, as she reminds readers in her epilogue, "there is still no collected edition (or even comprehensive, up-to-date list) of [his] works in print" (233).
Chapter 6 is devoted to John Lydgate
, author of the only extant texts, written in the early fifteenth century, known to have been performed in civic halls in pre-Elizabethan London.
47) On this influence see Lois Ebin, John Lydgate
(Boston: Twayne, 1985), p.
and the Canterbury Pilgrims leaving Canterbury
Beginning with Clement of Alexandria and subsequently traveling through the worlds of Hildegard, Leonin, Dante, Chaucer, and the fifteenth-century poet John Lydgate
, the author presents various types of physical representations of and physical responses to music.