On Recovering the Lost Norwich Corpus Christi Cycle


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

For the whole of this century, the Corpus Christi plays from Norwich, England, have masqueraded under the title of the Norwich Whitsun plays.1 But it seems certain that the plays were never acted at Whitsun (Pentecost) before 1559, and it is possible that they were not produced at all after that date. The misunderstanding behind this appellation has obscured the true history of the plays, and has led such a sensitive scholar as V. A. Kolve to judge that the civic authority responsible for the plays "never rose to the Corpus Christi occasion with the sustained intelligence characteristic of the six or seven other English towns whose records survive in greater detail."2

Comparative Drama is carried by JSTOR and Project MUSE.