Probably the most blighted period in the history of English drama was the time of the Civil Wars, Commonwealth, and Protectorate. With the theaters closed, the country at war, the throne in fatal decline, and the powers of Parliament and Cromwell growing greater, the received wisdom has been that drama in England largely withered and died.Not so, demonstrates Dale Randall in this magisterial study, the first book in nearly sixty years to attempt a comprehensive analysis of mid-seventeenth-century English drama.
Throughout the official hiatus in playing, he shows, dramas continued to be composed, translated, transmuted, published, bought, read, and even covertly acted. Furthermore, the tendency of drama to become interestingly topical and political grew more pronounced.
In illuminating one of the least understood periods in English literary history, Randall's study not only encompasses a large amount of dramatic and historical material but also takes into account much of the scholarship published in recent decades.Winter Fruitis a major interpretive work in literary and social history.