Florentine Friend, The

Richard Brome (1638)

Historical Records

The Burn transcript of Herbert's Office-Book

Herbert's Office-book is lost, and survives only in various partial transcripts. In 1996, N. W. Bawcutt published new records deriving from a hitherto overlooked transcript, made by the nineteenth-century scholar Jacob Henry Burn, of some of the material in it. These records include:

Broome, Florentine Frend, allowed 1638 Queen's Company.
Love Sick Courtier, alld for Salisbury Court, 1638

(Cited from Bawcutt, Control and Censorship, 202)

Marriott's list

Marriott's list (1653) is transcribed and discussed here. The third item on it is:

The fflorentine freind

Theatrical Provenance

Queen Henrietta's Men

Probable Genre(s)


Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues

None known

References to the Play

See below

Critical Commentary

Until the rediscovery of the Burn transcript in 1996, what was known of this play was too slight to admit of much commentary. Bentley suggested, only to reject, the possibility that the play might be linked to the lost play The Florentine Ladies referred to by Thomas Jordan. Bawcutt, publishing the Burn transcript record for the first time, observes that it clearly attributes the play to Richard Brome. This identification is strengthened by the fact that the next play listed in the transcript seems to be another Brome play (an error for The Love-Sick Court), and it is corroborated by the company details given in each case. In 1638, Brome was a retained professional dramatist for Queen Henrietta's Men, who were performing at Salisbury Court. Steggle (136-7) puts the play in the context of the other plays written for them in this period. He also observes that Jordan and Brome were colleagues in the company at this date, which might marginally strengthen the feeble case for an identification between The Florentine Friend and The Florentine Ladies.

For What It's Worth

The Florentine Ladies is discussed here.

Works Cited

Steggle, Matthew. Richard Brome: Place and Politics on the Caroline Stage. Manchester: Manchester UP, 2004.

Site created and maintained by Matthew Steggle, Sheffield Hallam University; updated 25 September 2010.