Manchester ; New York : Manchester University Press ; New York, NY, USA : Distributed exclusively in the USA and Canada by St. Martin's Press, c1994.
282 p. ; 23 cm.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -275) and index.
"A greater kindred in the kingdome" - illegitimacy in Rennaissance England-- bastardy and evil-- unnatural children-- natural children-- heroic bastards-- bastards and theatre. Appendix: plays with bastard characters.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)
In Renaissance drama, the bastard is often an extraordinarily powerful and disruptive figure. Drawing on a wide range of play texts, Findlay shows how illegitimacy encoded and threatened to deconstruct some of the basic tenets of patriarchal rule. She considers bastards as indicators and instigators of crisis in early modern England, reading them in relation to witchcraft, spiritual insecurities and social unrest in the family and State. The characters discussed range from demi-devils, unnatural villains and clowns, to outstandingly heroic or virtuous types who challenge officially-sanctioned ideas of illegitimacy. The final chapter of the book considers bastards in performance - their relationship with theatre spaces and audiences. Illegitimate voices, Findlay argues, can bring about the death of the author/father and open the text as a piece of theatre, challenging accepted notions of authority. (source: Nielsen Book Data)