Dr Rory Loughnane’s work on Shakespeare’s beginnings in the theatre industry has received a wonderful write up in The Observer this weekend, which highlighted related new research by Professor Gary Taylor. The article describes how Taylor identifies Thomas Watson as the primary author of the play Arden of Faversham, a work of local significance which describes a notorious murder by a Faversham woman and her lover. Taylor is one of eleven contributors to Early Shakespeare, 1588–1594 (Cambridge University Press, 2020), a new collection co-edited by Loughnane and Andrew J. Power. In the article, the collection is acclaimed as a ‘major reappraisal of Shakespeare’s early career’. It draws together leading scholars of text, performance, and theatre history to shed new light on how Shakespeare began his career. It builds, in part, on ground-breaking research in the canon and chronology of Shakespeare’s works undertaken by Loughnane, Taylor, and others, for the New Oxford Shakespeare.
The work that Rory has produced on Shakespeare’s early career fits squarely with other projects taking place within the school. Catherine Richardson’s new edition of Arden of Faversham, due to be published in the Arden Early Modern Drama series later this year, promises to make an important new contribution to the study of the play and its cultural contexts. And, Rory, Catherine, and Sarah Dustagheer, working with a team of over twenty scholars, are now general editing a new Collected Works of Christopher Marlowe for Oxford University Press, a major new international project that will illuminate the works, cultural life, and reception of the Canterbury-born poet-dramatist.
These projects highlight some of the significant contributions the School is making to the field of early modern literary studies.
Dr Rory Loughnane is a Senior Lecturer in Early Modern Studies at the School of English.
Professor Catherine Richardson is Professor of Early Modern Studies at the School of English, and Academic Director of the Institute of Cultural and Creative Industries.
Dr Sarah Dustagheer is a Senior Lecturer in Early Modern Literature at the School of English.