Redating A Jovial Crew

Matthew Steggle*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


A Jovial Crew is usually dated to spring 1641, on the strength of internal references to spring, and the first edition's note that the play was first performed in 1641. This article contests that date, using the parallel case of Brome's The Sparagus Garden: because Brome's dating follows the civic and not the calendar year, A Jovial Crew can be dated as late as March 1642. This in turn simplifies other problems relating to theatrical politics, to Brome's own career, and to topical reference. In particular, it aligns the play far more closely with Shirley's The Sisters, and opens up the possibility of reading both plays as responses to the king's departure from London at the start of 1642 in order to muster his strength in the north - a reading already recognized in the case of The Sisters. Finally, it permits a new approach to the question of the end of the Caroline theatre. Existing accounts of the theatre of 1641 tend to use A Jovial Crew as defining evidence, and suggest that the year was a prolonged final agony; redating the play invites as rereading of the other drama of 1641.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-372
Number of pages8
JournalReview of English Studies
Issue number211
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2002


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