45. North Marked Passages in his “Dial” That He Used in “Arden”

As we saw in the previous post, in 1591-2, North marked up his own copy of The Dial of Princes, using it as a workbook for plays he was either revising or writing at that time. For example, North only marked three of the 177 chapters in the table of contents. All three chapters andContinue reading “45. North Marked Passages in his “Dial” That He Used in “Arden””

44. North’s 2nd Marked-Chapter Relates to “Taming of the Shrew” and “Arden of Faversham”

As noted earlier, in 1591-2, North marked up his own copy of The Dial of Princes, using it as a workbook for plays he was either revising or writing at that time. For example, North only marked three of the 177 chapters in the table of contents. All three chapters and their titles are relevantContinue reading “44. North’s 2nd Marked-Chapter Relates to “Taming of the Shrew” and “Arden of Faversham””

North’s Marginal Notes (His Personal Workbook for Early 1590s Plays)

On March 29, 1591, Thomas North purchased a used, 1582-edition of his Dial of Princes for 5 shillings, signing the back and dating the purchase—a copy now kept at the Cambridge University Library.[1] Then he began rereading or skimming certain sections, skipping from here to there, underscoring certain lines and passages, and adding various notesContinue reading “North’s Marginal Notes (His Personal Workbook for Early 1590s Plays)”

43. In 1592, North Underlined and Wrote Out the Subtitle to “Arden of Faversham” (1592)

North’s note-writing begins early in this copy of Dial of Princes, even in the prologue and table of contents. Importantly, out of 13 pages of table of contents listing 177 chapters, North only adds notes to three of those listed chapter-titles. All three chapters and their titles are relevant to his plays –and two ofContinue reading “43. In 1592, North Underlined and Wrote Out the Subtitle to “Arden of Faversham” (1592)”

32. Edgar as the Impoverished, Unperfumed Learned-Theban, Who Stands in Esperance and Knows the Cause of Thunder.

Numerous scholars have discussed King Lear’s unswerving focus on the virtues of poverty and charity –especially in contrast to the corruption of wealth. Throughout the tragedy, many of the characters are forced into destitution and misery–especially Edgar (Poor Tom) and King Lear – only to end up embracing the impoverished and natural state of theContinue reading “32. Edgar as the Impoverished, Unperfumed Learned-Theban, Who Stands in Esperance and Knows the Cause of Thunder.”

20. North’s Marginal Notes and “Richard II”

The Rise of One Requires the Fall of Another, Like Buckets in a Well or Sun Melting Snow On March 29, 1591, Thomas North purchased a used, 1582-edition of his Dial of Princes for 5 shillings, signing the back and dating the purchase—a copy now kept at the Cambridge University Library.[1] Then he began rereadingContinue reading “20. North’s Marginal Notes and “Richard II””

19. Griefs of the Inward Soul, Seeing Things Thru Water, & Dissolving the Bands of Life

North began translating both the colossal Plutarch’s Lives (1579/80) and Nepos’ Lives (1602) many years before he would eventually sell them to printers. In the interim, North often used the stories and ideas he found in these unpublished translations as source-material for his plays. For example, in the mid-1590s, North decided to use Richard IIContinue reading “19. Griefs of the Inward Soul, Seeing Things Thru Water, & Dissolving the Bands of Life”

11. The Garden of Lombardy, 100 Milch Kine to the Pail, and 6 Score Fat Oxen in a Stable

As shown in Thomas North’s 1555 Travel Journal: From Italy to Shakespeare, the experiences that the young dramatist documented during his journey to Rome are most relevant to what would become two of North’s first plays: Henry VIII and The Winter’s Tale. But we also find the impressions that North wrote about the various ItalianContinue reading “11. The Garden of Lombardy, 100 Milch Kine to the Pail, and 6 Score Fat Oxen in a Stable”