Arcadian Virgin

Henry Chettle, William Haughton (1599)

Historical Records


To playwrights in Philip Henslowe's diary

Fol. 66v (Greg I.116)

Lent vnto harey chettell & wm harton }
the 13 of desemb[er] in earneste of his Boocke } xs
called ar[d]keadian virgen the some of ... }

Lent vnto harey chettell & wm harton }
the 17 desemb[er] 1599 in earneste of ther } vs
boocke called arkedian virgen the some ... }

Theatrical Provenance

The Admiral's men paid Henry Chettle and William Haughton a total of 15s. in earnest on "The Arcadian Virgin" in December of 1599, when the company was still at the Rose but anticipating a move to the Fortune within the year.

Probable Genre(s)

Pastoral (?) (Harbage)

Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues

None known.

References to the Play

None known.

Critical Commentary

Greg II offers the story of Atalanta as a possible subject; he questions whether the play was finished (#192, p.209).

Knutson (p. 162) and Gurr (p. 105) concur that nothing about the 15s. payment to Chettle and Haughton suggests that the play was completed and staged.

Wiggins, Catalogue (#1228) is skeptical that Atalanta was the Arcadian Virgin because "a known character" would probably be named in the title. He projects a performance at the Rose, implicitly rejecting Greg's thought that the play might not have been finished.

For What It's Worth

Works Cited

Gurr, Andrew. Shakespeare's Opposites: The Admiral's Company 1594-1625. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.
Knutson, Roslyn L., "The Commercial Significance of the Payments for Playtexts in Henslowe's Diary, 1597-1603," Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England 6 (1991): 117-63.

Site created and maintained by Roslyn L. Knutson, Professor Emerita, University of Arkansas at Little Rock; updated 5 November 2009.