Article Title

Corpus Christi "Cycles" in Yorkshire: The Surviving Records


In lieu of an abstract, the first paragraph of the essay follows:

If one envisions an almost impenetrable boundary across the top third of England, a sort of Hadrian's Wall, one can better understand the state of early English drama studies without the collection of the West Riding, Yorkshire pre-1642 dramatic records. Records collected from areas surrounding the West Riding (York, Chester, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Cumberland, Westmorland, Lancashire)1 served to highlight the centrality of this largest old county to understanding Northern patterns of theatrical presentation and entertainment. What already was known about West Riding drama-primarily from printed records, the extant Towneley text, and a 1989 preliminary survey,2 -suggested that an enormous amount of material remained to be read for drama entries and that it was likely to yield much information. Although the importance of collecting the. West Riding records never had been seriously challenged, neither had anyone underestimated the difficulty of the task, which was complicated by several dimensions peculiar to the West Riding. Those dimensions included the size of the old county, at 1,776,064 statute acres;3 the dispersal of records to numerous repositories when the old county was realigned in 1972; the abundance of gentry families who intermarried, interlitigated, and held multiple residences, thus scattering their records even farther; and, not peculiar to the West Riding, the effects of diminished archival funding during the Thatcher years and the current British recession.

Comparative Drama is carried by JSTOR and Project MUSE.