Difference between revisions of "Bad Beginning Makes a Good Ending, A"

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===Stationers Register===
 
===Stationers Register===
 
 
  
 
<blockquote>29 June 1660
 
<blockquote>29 June 1660
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==Critical Commentary==
 
==Critical Commentary==
  
Fleay identified this play with one attributed to John Ford in Thomas Warburton's list (and, by implication, to the one in Moseley's list). He also thought it was "probably the same" as ''The London Prodigal'', Q1605 ([http://www.archive.org/stream/abiographicalch01fleagoog#page/n246/mode/2up ''BCED'', 1.234-5],  [http://www.archive.org/stream/abiographicalch02fleagoog#page/n339/mode/2up ''BCED, 2.328]).
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Fleay identified this play with one attributed to John Ford in Thomas Warburton's list (and, by implication, to the one in Moseley's list). He also thought it was "probably the same" as ''The London Prodigal'', Q1605 (2.238).
 
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<br><br>
 
Greg (''BEPD'', 2.1005), and Bentley (3.444-6) dismiss the association with ''The London Prodigal.'' Both scholars seem undecided on the connection with the title/s attributed to Ford, yet Bentley does conclude that "[t]he 1613 and 1660 titles are so similar that the same play must surely be intended" (3.445).  
 
Greg (''BEPD'', 2.1005), and Bentley (3.444-6) dismiss the association with ''The London Prodigal.'' Both scholars seem undecided on the connection with the title/s attributed to Ford, yet Bentley does conclude that "[t]he 1613 and 1660 titles are so similar that the same play must surely be intended" (3.445).  
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<br>
 
<br>
 
<br>
 
<br>
 
 
==For What It's Worth==
 
==For What It's Worth==
  
 
The substantiality of identifying ''A Bad Beginning Makes a Good Ending'' with the also-lost play attributed to John Ford goes beyond the similarity in titles to the accuracy of the Chamber Accounts, Moseley's playlist, and the [[Warburton's List | Warburton List]] as evidence. Greg discussed the Warburton list in "The Bakings of Betsy," and decided that Warburton's claim to have had all those plays in his library was false. The Chamber Accounts certainly record titles that vary from those in other records such as printed title pages, for example, the variously recorded "Philaster" and "Love Lyes a bleeding" (Cook, 55-56). And Greg questions Warburton's memory; he thought Warburton confused his own library holdings with notes he had made from various stationers' lists (prominently, Moseley) and thus later claimed he had had all the texts in his possession  (259).
 
The substantiality of identifying ''A Bad Beginning Makes a Good Ending'' with the also-lost play attributed to John Ford goes beyond the similarity in titles to the accuracy of the Chamber Accounts, Moseley's playlist, and the [[Warburton's List | Warburton List]] as evidence. Greg discussed the Warburton list in "The Bakings of Betsy," and decided that Warburton's claim to have had all those plays in his library was false. The Chamber Accounts certainly record titles that vary from those in other records such as printed title pages, for example, the variously recorded "Philaster" and "Love Lyes a bleeding" (Cook, 55-56). And Greg questions Warburton's memory; he thought Warburton confused his own library holdings with notes he had made from various stationers' lists (prominently, Moseley) and thus later claimed he had had all the texts in his possession  (259).
  
Here, the practice is to provide one page for "A Bad Beginning Makes a Good Ending" and "An Ill Beginning Makes a Good End" until such time as further evidence more clearly suggests their relationship to one another.
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Here, the practice is to provide separate pages for "A Bad Beginning Makes a Good Ending" and "An Ill Beginning Makes a Good End," with considerable overlap in information until such time as further evidence separates the lost plays further or comes nearer collapsing them into one.
 
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  [[category:Court]] [[category:Blackfriars (2nd)]] [[category:King's]] [[category:Globe]][[category:all]][[category:S.R.]]
 
  [[category:Court]] [[category:Blackfriars (2nd)]] [[category:King's]] [[category:Globe]][[category:all]][[category:S.R.]]
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<div style="padding-left: 2em; text-indent: -2em">Cook, David and F. P. Wilson (eds.) ''Dramatic Records in the Declared Accounts of the Treasurer of the Chamber 1558-1642''. Malone Society Collections VI, 1961 (1962). </div>
 
<div style="padding-left: 2em; text-indent: -2em">Cook, David and F. P. Wilson (eds.) ''Dramatic Records in the Declared Accounts of the Treasurer of the Chamber 1558-1642''. Malone Society Collections VI, 1961 (1962). </div>
  
Fleay, F. G. ''A Biographical Chronicle of the English Drama, 1559—1642''. 2 vols. 1891; rpt New York: Burt Franklin, 1962.  
+
Fleay, F. G. ''A Biographical Chronicle of the English Drama, 1559—1642''. 2 vols. 1891; rpt New York: Burt Franklin, 1962 ([http://www.archive.org/stream/abiographicalch01fleagoog#page/n6/mode/2up ''BCED, vol 1], [http://www.archive.org/stream/abiographicalch02fleagoog#page/n7/mode/2up ''BCED, vol 2]).  
  
 
Greg, W. W. "The Bakings of Betsy," ''The Library'', Third Series, 11.7 (1911): 225-59.
 
Greg, W. W. "The Bakings of Betsy," ''The Library'', Third Series, 11.7 (1911): 225-59.

Revision as of 11:54, 27 April 2012

Anon. (>1613)


Historical Records

Accounts of the Treasurer of the Chamber

Item 47b (Cook 55-6):

Item paid to the said Iohn Heminges vppon the lyke warrant: dated att Whitehall xx0 die Maij 1613 for presentinge sixe severall playes viz one playe called a badd ‡ beginininge makes a good endinge, One other called ye Capteyne, One other the Alcumist. One other Cardenno. One other The Hotspurr. And one other called Benidicte and Bettris All played wthin the tyme of this Accompte viz pd Fortie powndes, And by waye of his Mates rewarde twentie powndes In all …… lxli


Stationers Register

29 June 1660

Entered to Humphrey Moseley
An ill begining has a good end, & a bad begining may have a good end. a Comedy ... by Iohn fforde.
S.R.2, 2.271 (Internet Archive)


Warburton's List

A good beginning may have A good end by Jon. Ford



Theatrical Provenance

The play was one of 20 performances by the King’s Men at court through the winter holiday season of 1612-13 (the other 14 plays named are Philaster (a second time by its sub-title, “Love Lies a-Bleeding”), The Knot of Fools, Much Ado About Nothing (also played under the title “Benidicte and Bettris”?), The Maid’s Tragedy, The Merry Devil of Edmonton, The Tempest, A King and No King, The Twins Tragedy, The Winter’s Tale, “Sir John Falstaff” (1H4?), The Nobleman, and Caesars Tragedy (Julius Caesar?).

In addition, the Prince’s Men put on the two parts of The Knaves; the Children of the Chapel put on The Coxcombe, Cupid’s Revenge, and The Widow’s Tears; Lady Elizabeth’s Men put on Cockle de Moye (The Dutch Courtesan) and Raymond Duke of Lyons.

The winter of 1612-13 was a bittersweet time for the court. Prince Henry died suddenly of a fever on 6 November 1612, yet the marriage of Princess Elizabeth to the Elector Palatine took place as scheduled on Valentine’s Day, 1613.

Without evidence to the contrary, it is reasonable to assume that A Bad Beginning Makes a Good Ending was performed in both of the King's company's London venues, the Globe and Blackfriars.

Probable Genre(s)

Comedy (Harbage)


Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues

Though no sources and analogues are known, it is impossible to resist considering this play as yet another domestic comedy in the mode of patient wives and prodigal husbands.


References to the Play

None known.


Critical Commentary

Fleay identified this play with one attributed to John Ford in Thomas Warburton's list (and, by implication, to the one in Moseley's list). He also thought it was "probably the same" as The London Prodigal, Q1605 (2.238).

Greg (BEPD, 2.1005), and Bentley (3.444-6) dismiss the association with The London Prodigal. Both scholars seem undecided on the connection with the title/s attributed to Ford, yet Bentley does conclude that "[t]he 1613 and 1660 titles are so similar that the same play must surely be intended" (3.445).


For What It's Worth

The substantiality of identifying A Bad Beginning Makes a Good Ending with the also-lost play attributed to John Ford goes beyond the similarity in titles to the accuracy of the Chamber Accounts, Moseley's playlist, and the Warburton List as evidence. Greg discussed the Warburton list in "The Bakings of Betsy," and decided that Warburton's claim to have had all those plays in his library was false. The Chamber Accounts certainly record titles that vary from those in other records such as printed title pages, for example, the variously recorded "Philaster" and "Love Lyes a bleeding" (Cook, 55-56). And Greg questions Warburton's memory; he thought Warburton confused his own library holdings with notes he had made from various stationers' lists (prominently, Moseley) and thus later claimed he had had all the texts in his possession (259).

Here, the practice is to provide separate pages for "A Bad Beginning Makes a Good Ending" and "An Ill Beginning Makes a Good End," with considerable overlap in information until such time as further evidence separates the lost plays further or comes nearer collapsing them into one.


Works Cited

Cook, David and F. P. Wilson (eds.) Dramatic Records in the Declared Accounts of the Treasurer of the Chamber 1558-1642. Malone Society Collections VI, 1961 (1962).

Fleay, F. G. A Biographical Chronicle of the English Drama, 1559—1642. 2 vols. 1891; rpt New York: Burt Franklin, 1962 (BCED, vol 1, BCED, vol 2).

Greg, W. W. "The Bakings of Betsy," The Library, Third Series, 11.7 (1911): 225-59.


Site created and maintained by Roslyn L. Knutson, Professor Emerita, University of Arkansas at Little Rock; updated 1 February 2010.