"A Brief Discourse of Rebellion and Rebels", by George North

"A Brief Discourse of Rebellion and Rebels", by George North

A Newly Uncovered Manuscript Source for Shakespeare's Plays

Dennis McCarthy, June Schlueter

Hardback
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D.S.Brewer

Overview

Overview

A new source for Shakespeare's plays, only recently uncovered, is investigated here with a full edition and facsimile of the text.
"New sources for Shakespeare do not turn up every day... This is a truly significant one that has not heretofore been studied or published. The list of passages now traced back to this source is impressive," David Bevington, Professor Emeritus, University of Chicago. A Brief Discourse of Rebellion and Rebels is the only uniquely existent, unpublished manuscript that can be shown to have been a source for Shakespeare's plays. George North, a courtier, wrote the treatise in 1576 while at Kirtling Hall, the North family estate in Cambridgeshire. His manuscript, newly discovered by the authors at the British Library, has many implications for our understanding of Shakespeare's plays. for example, not only does it bring clarity to the Fool's mysterious reference to Merlin in King Lear, but also upsets the prevailing opinion that Shakespeare invented the final hours of Jack Cade in 2 Henry VI. Linguistic and thematic correspondences between the North manuscript and Shakespeare's plays make it clear that the playwright borrowed from this document in other plays as well, including Richard III, 3 Henry VI, Henry V, King John, Macbeth, and Coriolanus. The opening chapters of the book investigate such connections; the volume also contains both a transcript and a facsimile of A Brief Discourse, making this previously unknown, unique document readily available.

Dennis McCarthy is an independent scholar; June Schlueter is Charles A. Dana Professor Emerita of English at Lafayette College, Easton, Pennsylvania.

An e-book version of this title is available (9781787441842), to libraries through a number of trusted suppliers. See here for a full list of our partners.

Details

February 2018
128 colour illustrations
268 pages
24.6x18.6 cm
ISBN: 9781843844884
Format: Hardback
D.S.Brewer
BIC DDS, 1DBKE, 2AB, 3J
BISAC LIT004120, DRA010000
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Table of Contents

George North and the Kirtling Hall Manuscript
Uncovering Connections between North's "Discourse" and Shakespeare's Plays
The Final Hours of Jack Cade
The Fool, Merlin's Prophecy, and the Upside-Down World of King Lear
Political Monologues and a Glimpse of Coriolanus
Afterword: The Odds That the Parallels Are Coincidental
Transcript: "A Brief Discourse of Rebellion and Rebels"
Facsimile: "A brief discourse of rebellion and Rebells, wherin is showyd, ye treasur yt Traytors in ye execution of theyr treason, by tym attayne to"
Index