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Bartholomew Fair - Ben Jonson

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Title
Bartholomew Fair
Author
Ben Jonson
format
Paperback / softback
Publisher
Bloomsbury Methuen Drama
Language
English
UK Publication Date
20070420

Early modern London - too foggy and Protestant to have a carnival -offered its inhabitants commercial events during which to indulge theirneed for bodily delights and festival exuberance. The fair of StBartholmew, held anually in Smithfield on 24 August, served Jonson asan opportunity to dissect a wide cross-section of Londoners and theirvarious reasons for spending a day out among the booths, stalls, smellsand noises of the fair. Unusually magnanimous for a Jonsonian citycomedy, the main thrust of the satire is not against fools, madmen,fortune-hunters, cuckolds or prostitutes, but against hypocrisy andbigotry. This edition shows that the play can be read as acomprehensive refutation of puritanism and the London magistracy, bothof whom were attacking the theatre (and the festive culture of which itwas still part) as idolatrous, seditious and disorderly.

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Alexander Leggatt is Professor of English at University College,

University of Toronto. He studied at the University of Toronto and at

the Shakespeare Institute, and has taught at the University of Toronto

since 1965. G. R. Hibbard was Emeritus Professor of English, University

of Waterloo, Ontario.

Type
BOOK
Edition
2nd Edition
Country of Publication
England
Number of Pages
189

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