Fount(ain) of New Fashions, The
To playwrights in Philip Henslowe's diary
Fol. 50v (Greg, I.96)
Lent vnto the company the 31 of septmbʒ 1598 } to by a Boocke of mr chapman called the } iijli ffounte of new faciane pd in parte . . . . . . . . . . . . }
Fol. 51 (Greg, I.97)
Lent vnto the company the 12 of octobʒ 1598 to } paye vnto mr chapmane in fulle payment for } xx his playe called the fowntayne of new facions . . . }
For apparel In Philip Henslowe's diary
Fol. 51v (Greg, I.98)
Lent vnto Robart shawe the 13 of novembʒ } 1598 to bye wemenes gownd & other thinges } vijli for the the fowntayne of newe faciones the some of }
Miscellaneous expenses in Philip Henslowe's diary
Fol. 51v (Greg, I.98)
lent h Lent vnto Jube & Thomas dowton the 8 of } Cet ... js 8d novmbʒ 1598 to bye divers thinges for the } vli playe called the fownte of new faciones some }
lent vnto thomas dowton the 14 of novmbʒ } 1598 to bye divers thinges for the play } vli called the fowntayne of newe faciones the some of }
The Admiral's men acquired "The Fount of New Fashions" in the autumn of 1598. The fact that they bought women's gowns and other things for the play suggests that they intended to offer it at the Rose right away.
- Comedy Harbage
Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues
- None known
References to the Play
- None known
- Malone has nothing to say about "The Fount(ain) of New Fashions" except to prefer "Fountain" to "Fount" (p. 310); Collier has nothing to add except to reference Malone's "Fountain" and to point out that Henslowe himself shifted to that choice (p. 135, n. 1).
- Fleay, BCED appears to blur with this one several titles of plays associated with Chapman, one called "The Will of a Woman," the other perhaps M. d'Olive (I.#4, p. 56). Greg II similarly equates "The Fount(ain) of New Fashions" with Fleay's "Will of a Woman" (which he "corrects" to "Iylle of a Woman" [p. 194, #138]), but rejects Fleay's other lumping with Monsiur d'Olive (p. 198, #154).
- Gurr does not itemize "The Fount of New Fashions" independently in the Appendix; he subordinates it to "Ill of a Woman," his preferable reading of "Will of a Woman" by Malone (p. 310). In n. 82 to the "Ill of a Woman," Gurr adds the following: "Little besides male prejudice and the proximity of the timing connect the two, but Chapman's usual rate of production suggests that the two names must refer to the same play" (p. 236).
- Wiggins Catalogue #1156 does not link this play with "The Ill of a Woman" (his reading of Henslowe's flawed title of "Isle/Will/Ill of a Woman").
For What It's Worth
- The Lost Plays Database does not list as a separate play the title "The Will of a Woman" (Malone, p. 310), or "iylle of a womon" (Greg I, Fol. 46v), or "The Ill of a Woman" (Wiggins, Catalogue #1132). We based our playlists on Harbage, who subsumes the title with "The Fount of New Fashions" as Isle of a Woman, p. 60). The issue here is two-fold: (1) what is the correct reading of Henslowe's handwriting; and (2) how independent a play is it? For the present, we too are subsuming it with "The Fount of New Fashions."
- Hazlitt recorded that a manuscript of this play "was sold among Heber's MSS" (89). Greg, however, reported that he had "failed to find any trace of either in the printed catalogue of the sale" (Greg, II 194). It seems probable that Hazlitt was misled by a passage in Philip Bliss's 1815 edition of Wood's Athenae Oxoniensis, whose biography of Chapman includes listed five printed books "by Chapman, not known to Wood, in the library of Richard Heber," followed by two more titles of printed books by Chapman known to Bliss from other sources, after which Bliss listed five "dramatic pieces never published", including "The Fountain of New Fashions, a play, 1598"; "The Will of a Woman, a play, 1598"; "The Fatal Love, a Tragedy"; "Tragedy of a Yorkshire Gentlewoman and her Son"; and The Second Maiden's Tragedy (II, col. 580). The entries in Hazlitt's Manual suggest that he understood Bliss's list as implying that all five unpublished plays were represented in manuscript in Heber's possession when they seem rather to be titles attributed to Chapman that Bliss had gleaned from other sources.