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"Not Barren of Invention": Texts, Context and Intertexts of the London Lord Mayors' Shows, 1614-1619.

Kennedy, Emma (2014) "Not Barren of Invention": Texts, Context and Intertexts of the London Lord Mayors' Shows, 1614-1619. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

This thesis analyses the printed texts of six London Lord Mayors’ Shows, of the years 1614-1619, demonstrating how the two authors – Thomas Middleton and Anthony Munday – innovated textually within this genre. Its methodology is original in two ways. Firstly, it examines the Shows as whole entities, analysing how they function as individual texts. This helps to identify the development of textual strategies across the genre, differentiating the strategies within each Show. Secondly, and most importantly, the thesis examines the Shows as texts, applying textual and literary analysis to identify authorial strategies in each work. This textual perspective allows the thesis to identify three principal strategies in the Shows examined. Firstly, it shows that writers used the Show’s ‘occasionality’ – that is, proximity to a real event – in innovative ways, utilising a variety of strategies to respond to the works’ historical and cultural context. ‘Occasionality’ is thus demonstrated to be more variable than scholars have previously assumed. So too, the thesis identifies diverse ways in which authors use strategies of intertextuality, showing that this concept, too, is unstable as used in this genre. Finally, two of the Shows are shown to challenge and complicate the relationship between the printed text and the event of performance which it supposedly commemorated – that is, the actual procession of the newly-elected Lord Mayor with Company and City dignitaries through London after signing his oath to the King on October 29th. The thesis uses close analysis of historical and textual detail to outline the nuanced and different ways in which Shows responded to their immediate context, utilised other textual sources and interrogated the then-vexed issue of print’s relationship to an event of performance. The thesis thus shows that in these three textual areas, Lord Mayors’ Shows are much more variable and complex than scholars have previously acknowledged.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > English and Related Literature (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.640695
Depositing User: Ms Emma Kennedy
Date Deposited: 26 Mar 2015 11:26
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2016 13:32
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/8107

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