Bear a Brain, or Better Late Than Never
Thomas Dekker (1599)
F. 63 (Greg I.110)
- Lent vnto Robart shawe the 1 of aguste
- 1599 to paye mr deckers for a boocke
- beare a braine
- alled [bettr latte then never] the some
- of xxxxs in fulle payment lent vnto mr
- deckers at that time xxs so all is ... iijli
Bear a Brain, or Better Late than Never was acquired by the Admiral's Men in the summer of 1599, as the Globe was being built across Maid Lane.
Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues
References to the Play
Greg repeats F. G. Fleay's identification of Bear a Brain with Look About You (along with offering synonyms for the title including "have care," and "look about you"). Greg then offers objections to the connection based mainly on his rejection of Dekker as author of Look About You. Greg prefers to identify the payment for Bear a Brain with The Shoemakers Holiday, but he cannot find a good reason to do so (II.Item #179, pp. 204-5).
Knutson suggests that the payment in full of 60s, 20s. of which was designated by Henslowe as a loan, may indicate that the play was secondhand (119).
For What It's Worth
Thomas Dekker, Look About You, Secondhand plays
Knutson, Roslyn L. "The Commercial Significance of the Payments for Playtexts in Henslowe's Diary, 1597-1603." Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England, 5 (1991): 117-63.
Site created and maintained by Roslyn L. Knutson, Professor Emerita, University of Arkansas at Little Rock; updated 31 October 2009.