Research Programs: Scholarly Editions and Translations

Period of Performance

9/1/2011 - 8/31/2013

Funding Totals (outright + matching)

$250,000.00 (approved)
$249,999.37 (awarded)

Records of Early English Drama: Editorial Support

FAIN: RQ-50582-11

University of Puget Sound (Tacoma, WA 98416-5000)
Peter H. Greenfield (Project Director: November 2010 to May 2016)

Editing and preparation for publication of Civic London to 1558 in the Records of Early English Drama. (24 months)

University of Puget Sound requests NEH funding to support the Records of Early English Drama (REED) project's editorial office in editing and processing for publication a major collection of dramatic records--Civic London to 1558--that significantly advances of understanding of medieval and early modern English drama. Civic London documents the dramatic activities of London's civic government and of its guilds and corporations, from private performances of plays to elaborate pageantry in the streets of the city. REED's editorial staff ensures the completeness and accuracy of the published collections and editorial apparatus, and provides essential support to online dissemination of results through the Patrons and Performances website.

Media Coverage

Review: Civic London to 1558 (Review)
Author(s): Robert Tittler
Publication: Urban History
Date: 11/1/2016
Abstract: 'Anne Lancashire’s ground-breaking collection of the dramatic records of civic London to 1558 serves as an emphatic reminder of what such volumes contain and how they may be used. Following on the heels of Mary C. Erler (ed.), Records of Early English Drama: Ecclessiastical London (Toronto and London, 2008) and Alan H. Nelson and John R. Elliott, Jr (eds.), Records of Early English Drama: Inns of Court (3 vols., Cambridge, 2010), this three-volume collection brings an impressively comprehensive picture of London’s dramatic activities closer to completion. Like its predecessors, REED: Civic London to 1558 identifies and publishes every retrievable record relating to mimetic performance within its geographic and chronological remit.’

Review: Civic London to 1558 (Review)
Publication: The London Journal
Date: 1/1/2016
Abstract: "REED's Civic London to 1558 reveals records of both civic government and livery companies witnessing to the richness of theatrical and musical activities in London between 1287 and 1558. It particularly focuses on ‘the internal government authority of each of the various London craft or trade guilds’, which regularly ‘contributed to the city's formal street music and pageantry’ (xviii).... Livery companies' extant records, thus, constitute an invaluable source of information on early London musical and theatrical activities, including pageantry....What survives, nonetheless, offers a rich picture of a thriving musical and theatrical scene in early modern London....This collection constitutes a great contribution to the REED collections, enriching our understanding of the theatrical and musical culture of civic London outside the professional theatres before 1558."

Associated Products

Civic London to 1558 (Book)
Title: Civic London to 1558
Author: with David J. Parkinson (asst ed)
Author: Anne Lancashire (ed)
Abstract: Documents from the middle ages through to the mid sixteenth century provide rich evidence for London's vibrant dramatic activities. The variety and richness of early London's dramatic activity are extensively revealed here: both from the records of its civic government and livery companies, 1287 to 1558, and in a chronological appendix of information from other sources, such as national and local chronicles (written in Anglo-French, Latin, and English). Civic London to 1558 adds substantially to the amount of published evidence of early drama in London. After the demise of the multi-day biblical play performed, regularly or occasionally, in the late fourteenth century at Clerkenwell, on the edge of the city, records begin to appear of the London companies (originally craft and trade guilds) paying players/actors to perform at annual company feasts. The records are at first largely of clerks' groups, and subsequently largely of troupes patronized by royalty and the aristocracy. The London troupes of Shakespeare's day descend from here. Also elaborate formal mummings (disguisings) were sent by the city to the court, and were performed as well in company halls. Grand theatrical spectacles were presented in the streets: at Midsummer, for formal royal entries through the city, and for mayoral inaugurations. This collection makes a strong contribution to the known evidence of these activities and of others as well.
Year: 2015
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: WorldCat entry for this book.
Secondary URL:
Secondary URL Description: Publisher's page describing the book.
Access Model: print book
Publisher: Boydell and Brewer
Type: Scholarly Edition
ISBN: 978-1-84384-39
Copy sent to NEH?: Yes