The Presentation of Plays at Second Paul’s: The Early Phase (1599–1602)



In the summer of 1599 William Stanley, Sixth Earl of Derby, was “busy penning comedies for the common players”,1 but he may have had an unpleasant experience with the reaction of the professional theatre to his work. Certainly John Marston, who had written “privately” for lawyers,2 had a short-lived professional association with Henslowe in September of this year, when he was advanced £2 “in earneste of a Boocke”.3 Both Stanley and Marston were resident in the Inns of Court in the late 1590s, the former in Lincoln’s Inn, the latter in the Middle Temple. Fortunes for both changed quickly; Marston’s father died in the fall and left him a substantial inheritance and, by early November, Stanley had “put up the playes of the children in Pawles to his great paines and charge”.4


Verbal Invention West Wall Discovery Space Common Player Illusion Device 
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  1. 2.
    P. J. Finkelpearl, “John Marston’s Histrio-Mastix as an Inns of Court Play: A Hypothesis”, Huntington Library Quarterly 29 (1966) 223–34 (passim).Google Scholar

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© W. R. Gair 1978

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