The Complete Works of James Shirley (1596-1666) (Editorial Project)
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Has co-investigator
Has principal investigator Barbara Ravelhofer
Status Closed
Identifier AH/E008410/1
abstract The Complete Works of James Shirley (1596-1666): A Modernized, Critical Edition in 10 Volumes with music scores (OUP) and an Electronic Old-Spelling Edition of early print and manuscript witnesses\n\nWe will edit The Complete Works of James Shirley (CWJS), a corpus of around 50 works. James Shirley was one of the most significant dramatic writers of the late English Renaissance, productive between the 1620s and the 1660s, yet his complete works (including tragedies, comedies, tragicomedies, masques, pastorals, moralities, poems, aphorisms and grammars) have never been fully edited. Our comprehensive scholarly edition will embrace the full range of Shirley's remarkable output and present a multifaceted seventeenth-century author: not only a poet, but a playwright active in England and Ireland, and grammarian and translator whose linguistic studies were reprinted in the eighteenth century. \n\nShirley's work echoes and builds upon the art of his Elizabethan and Jacobean predecessors, such as Shakespeare, Beaumont/Fletcher, and Ford. Caroline drama would be unthinkable without him. Shirley, a detached observer of the rituals of the upper classes, specializes in polite conversation and its darker undercurrents. His work probes the tensions of Caroline society. The strong female characters in his plays mark a sea-change in attitudes to female performance at the time. In this context Shirley's pre-occupation with song and dance - areas of performance which were accessible to women - is particularly noteworthy. His drama in general portrays characters through an uncommonly detailed range of non-verbal clues such as sound and movement: the comedies alone contain several hundred references to dancing, many of them now obscure. By elucidating these, the edition will excavate lost details in the cultural history of seventeenth-century England, and make them for the first time accessible to a more general readership. CWJS will respond fully to Shirley's literary and historical scope, fill a serious gap in the study of Caroline theatre and culture, and significantly change the look of the literary landscape in seventeenth-century England (and Ireland). \n\nA volume of Critical Essays (provisional title, OUP) will contain accessibly written essays on Shirley and the cultural context of his work and convey Shirley's impact on Caroline culture to a general readership. Furthermore, we are negotiating a volume of The Selected Works of James Shirley with OUP to introduce some of Shirley's finest pieces to a non-specialist audience.\n\nOur team includes distinguished and experienced editors, leading scholars in the field of Caroline culture, as well as experts on early modern poetry, Humanities computing, manuscript and printing history, theatre, music and dance. This edition, and the studies we will publish in relation to it, will provide resources for researchers and students in English and Irish literature and theatre. They will appeal to musicologists, cultural historians, and readers interested in the social practices of the Renaissance and the Baroque.\n
Type Project
Label The Complete Works of James Shirley (1596-1666) (Editorial Project)
Title The Complete Works of James Shirley (1596-1666) (Editorial Project)

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Durham University Of