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Vol 23 No 4 April/May 2018

Book of the Month

Cover of Williams, Mortimer and Sunnucks: Executors, Administrators and Probate

Williams, Mortimer and Sunnucks: Executors, Administrators and Probate

Edited by: Alexander Learmonth, Charlotte Ford, Julia Clark, John Ross Martyn
Price: £295.00

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Williams published

Law and Representation in Early Modern Drama

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ISBN13: 9780521850353
ISBN: 0521850355
Published: October 2006
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £67.00

Low stock.

This examination of the relation between law and drama in Renaissance England establishes the diversity of their dialogue, encompassing critique and complicity, comment and analogy, but argues that the way in which drama addresses legal problems and dilemmas is nevertheless distinctive. As the resemblance between law and theatre concerns their formal structures rather than their methods and aims, an interdisciplinary approach must be alive to distinctions as well as affinities.

Alert to issues of representation without losing sight of a lived culture of litigation, this study primarily focuses on early modern implications of the connection between legal and dramatic evidence, but expands to address a wider range of issues which stretch the representational capacities of both courtroom and theatre. The book does not shy away from drama's composite vision of legal realities but engages with the fictionality itself as significant, and negotiates the methodological challenges it posits.

  • Draws on plays, court records, theoretical legal writing and rhetorical treatises
  • Accessibly written, it combines detailed close readings with larger arguments about the vision of law that emerges from drama
  • Discusses well-known dramatists such as Webster and Heywood alongside lesser known ones

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    Legal History
    1. 'Of rings, and things, and fine array': marriage law, evidence and uncertainty
    2. Adultery, evidence and judgement in Heywood's A Woman Killed with Kindness
    3. Evidence and representation on 'the theatre of God's judgements': A Warning for Fair Women
    4. 'Painted devils': image-making and evidence in The White Devil
    5. Locations of law: spaces, people, play
    6. 'When women go to law, the Devil is full of Business': women, law and dramatic realism
    Epilogue: The Hydra head, the labyrinth and the waxen nose: discursive metaphors for law
    Select bibliography.