Category:Secondhand plays

The venerable E. K. Chambers observed that the sums paid to playwrights in Philip Henslowe's Diary by the Admiral's men and Worcester's men for new plays, 1597-1603, "ranged from £4 to £10 10s" (The Elizabethan Stage, I.373). He thus concluded that "a fee of £6 may be taken as about normal" (I.373). Based on the £2 paid by the Admiral's men to Edward Alleyn for playbooks that were not new, it is reasonable to conclude that payments in Henslowe's Diary of 40s (£2) indicate the purchase of a secondhand play. Roslyn L. Knutson identifies nine such possibilities in "The Commercial Significance of the Payments for Playtexts in Henslowe's Diary, 1597-1603," Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England (1991): 117-63. All are now lost.