Contexts

Historical Contexts: 3LL’s Publication Dates (1584 & 1592)

Robert Wilson and Lost Plays

David McInnis

Abstract: How representative of Robert Wilson’s work is his Three Ladies of London? Only three of his other plays have survived in print – The Three Lords and Three Ladies of London (printed 1590), The Cobbler’s Prophecy (printed 1594), and part 1 of Sir John Oldcastle (printed 1600) – but these plays represent the distinct minority of his dramatic output. Wilson had at least a hand in a further sixteen plays between the 1570s and the early 1600s. Although the play-texts are lost, a great deal can be learned from the information about these plays that survives in the form of their titles, plots, and descriptions. Attention to these records produces a more accurate and wholistic account of Wilson’s career, revealing a playwright whose interests exceeded satire and comedy, and who contributed to the creation of plays which were deeply embedded in the company style of the Admiral’s Men at the turn of the century.

Citation: McInnis, David, ‘Robert Wilson and Lost Plays’, Performance as Research in Early English Theatre Studies: The Three Ladies of London in Context, http://threeladiesoflondon.mcmaster.ca/contexts/DavidMcInnis.htm.

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From the Talbot to Duck Lane: The Early Publication History of Robert
Wilson’s The Three Ladies of London

Kirk Melnikoff

Abstract: This essay tracks the early fortunes of Robert Wilson’s Three Ladies of London in print, from its initial publication in 1584 to its reprinting in 1592. Along the way, it addresses three overlapping questions: First, what possibly inspired Roger Ward to finance, print and distribute a quarto of the play in 1584? Second, when and why did Ward transfer his right-to-copy to John Danter, the play's second publisher? And third, why was Danter interested in the play? In order to answer these questions, this essay closely follows the careers of both Ward and Danter, paying particular attention to the publishing penchants and practices of each.

Citation: Melnikoff, Kirk, ‘From the Talbot to Duck Lane: The Early Publication History of Robert Wilson’s The Three Ladies of London’, Performance as Research in Early English Theatre Studies: The Three Ladies of London in Context, http://threeladiesoflondon.mcmaster.ca/contexts/KirkMelnikoff.htm.

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