British Drama 1533-1642: A Catalogue

Posted on Thursday 26th January 2012

Photograph of Dr Martin Wiggins

This is the first volume of a detailed play-by-play catalogue of drama written by English, Welsh, Irish, and Scottish authors during the 110 years between the English Reformation to the English Revolution, covering every known play, extant and lost, including some which have never before been identified. 

It is based on a complete, systematic survey of the whole of this body of work, presented in chronological order.  Each entry contains comprehensive information about a single play: its various titles, authorship, and date; a summary of its plot, list of its roles, and details of the human and geographical world in which the fictional action takes place; a list of its sources, narrative and verbal, and a summary of its formal characteristics; details of its staging requirements; and an account of its early stage and textual history.

Reflecting on the fruition of twelve years of concerted work and a lifetime of study, Dr Martin Wiggins said, 'I wrote the book because I wanted everyone to have a better chance to know everything there is to know about the full corpus of the drama of this period, rather than just about a handful of familiar plays by Shakespeare and a few others.  The consequence has been, at one level, a thorough rethink of the historiography of the subject, and, at another, the discovery of a number of hitherto unknown plays, some of them still in existence.  A fully searchable electronic edition of the Catalogue will be released at a later date.'