Cambridge, UK ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2012.
xiv, 283 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 266-273) and index.
Machine generated contents note: Introduction: the authenticity of mediation; 1. Trial representations: live and scripted testimony in criminal prosecutions; 2. Judicial digest: Edward Coke reads the Essex papers; 3. Performance anxiety: bringing scripts to life in court and on stage; 4. Royal depositions: Richard II, early modern historiography, and the authority of deferral; 5. The reporter's presence: narrative as theatre in The Winter's Tale; Epilogue: the theatre of the twice-told tale; Select bibliography.
"Holger Syme presents a radically new explanation for the theatre's importance in Shakespeare's time. He portrays early modern England as a culture of mediation, dominated by transactions in which one person stood in for another, giving voice to absent speakers or bringing past events to life. No art form related more immediately to this culture than the theatre. Arguing against the influential view that the period underwent a crisis of representation, Syme draws upon extensive archival research in the fields of law, demonology, historiography and science to trace a pervasive conviction that testimony and report, delivered by properly authorised figures, provided access to truth. Through detailed close readings of plays by Ben Jonson and William Shakespeare - in particular Volpone, Richard II and The Winter's Tale - and analyses of criminal trial procedures, the book constructs a revisionist account of the nature of representation on the early modern stage"-- Provided by publisher.
"The Authenticity of Mediation: A man dressed in a simple black gown or an elaborate robe of office stands before a crowd of listeners. He speaks, and as his audience attend to his words they understand that the words are not his at all, but belong to another, absent voice. Continuing to listen, they begin to hear, through the conduit of the man's body, that other voice as though its owner were speaking. And as the absent voice materializes, it conjures a world of absent events and people, meetings of kings or street brawls among drunkards, mundane business transactions or chilling encounters with the supernatural"-- Provided by publisher.