John of Gaunt

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Historical Records

Book Trade Records =

Stationers' Register


Adam Islip./.     Entred likewise for his Copie vnder the handes of bothe the wardens
Edward White./.     a booke entituled / the famous historye of JOHN OF GAUNTE sonne to
    Kinge EDWARD the THIRD with his Conquest of Spaine and marriage of
    his Twoo daughters to the Kinges of Castile and Portugal &c     vjd C./
(Stationers' Register, Vol. 2, p. 307; 14 May 1594)



Theatrical Provenance

Unknown. However, reading White's entries as a batch acquisition from a single playing company, Wiggins, Catalogue assigns the play "tentatively" to the Queen's men (#823).



Probable Genre(s)

Wiggins, Catalogue #823: "romance (or history?)"



Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues

Any one of the chronicles of England in the fourteenth century could have provided the narrative of this play.
Greg, BEPD (2.965, θ12) offered two likely story lines: "the successful expedition of John of Gaunt and the Black Prince in 1367, which restored Pedro the Cruel to the throne of Castile, and which was followed in 1372 by John of Gaunt's marriage to Constance, and that of his brother Edmund to Isabella, Pedro's daughters; or ... his [John of Gaunt's] rather inglorious invasion of 1386-7, undertaken in pursuit of his own claim to the throne in right of his wife, which in fact led to the marriage of his daughters Philippa and Catharine to John of Portugal and Henry, afterwards King of Castile." Greg thought it "`[v]ery likely" that the play addressed both "historical occasions."



References to the Play

None known.



Critical Commentary

Fleay, BCED (2.309, #223) suggested that this earlier piece was "[p]robably the foundation of The Conquest of Spain by John of Gaunt, by Hathway and Rankens" in Philip Henslowe's lists for the Admiral's men in the early spring of 1601. Greg, BEPD echoed that presumption (2.965, θ12).


Wiggins, Catalogue #823 considers the play to have addressed the life of John of Gaunt in 1386-7. He does not repeat Fleay's and Greg's link to the 1601 play by Richard Hathway and William Rankins.



For What It's Worth



Works Cited

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