Lovesick Courtier

Anon. (if not 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)

Endymion 1663

Endymion 1663 is a satirical mock-almanac which includes, in its later pages, a catalogue of all printed plays. In that list occurs, under "L":

Love-sick Courtier, or the Ambitious Politick. c. [i.e. comedy]

Theatrical Provenance

Queen Henrietta's Men at Salisbury Court

Probable Genre(s)

Unknown (if not the same as The Love-Sick Court)

Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues

None known (if not the same as The Love-Sick Court)

References to the Play

None known

Critical Commentary

Bawcutt, publishing the Burn transcript record for the first time, suggested that this title was an error for Richard Brome's play The Love-Sick Court, or the Ambitious Politique, an extant satirical tragicomedy whose exact date and provenance were hitherto unknown. This suggestion has been accepted by Brome scholars including Matthew Steggle (122), and Eleanor Lowe in her 2010 edition of The Love-Sick Court.

As Joshua McEvilla points out to me, the Endymion 1663 record, not hitherto noted in this connection, makes the same error posited in the Burn transcript. The subtitle indicates that the list is attempting to refer to the printed Brome play. However, it mangles the title, wrongly supposing it to refer to a supposed eponymous character, not (as is in fact the case) to the whole Thessalian court. This parallel error further discourages any lingering thought that the Burn transcript might record an otherwise unknown play.

For What It's Worth

The Florentine Friend is discussed here.

Works Cited

Anon., Endymion 1663, or, The man-in-the-moon his northern weather-glass discovering most of the turnings, returnings, by-turnings, and over-turnings, that are like to happen in the world in the year 1663. Selenopolis: The Company of Stationers, "1653" [i.e. 1662].

Brome, Richard. The Love-Sick Court, ed. Eleanor Lowe. In Richard A. Cave, gen. ed., Richard Brome Online

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 8 June 2011.