Duns Furens

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(Duns Furens or Dick Harvey in a Frensie)

Anon. (1586)

Historical Records

Thomas Nash, Have With You to Saffron Walden (1596), sig.N

Nelson notes that "according to Thomas Nash, members of the college [Peterhouse] put on a satire called Dunsfurens or Dick Haruey in afrensie: 'Whereupon Dick (ie, Richard Harvey, the brother of Gabriel) came and broke the Colledge glasse windowes; and Doctor Perne ... caused him to be fetcht in, and set in the Stockes till the Shew was ended' (Appendix 3, 1596). Although the incident may be a fabrication, the computus roll of 1577-8 confirms the existence of the college stocks, while evidence from other colleges confirms both the cruelly satirical nature of many plays during the last decades of the sixteenth century and the frequent breaking of glass windows" (REED Cambridge II.764-65).

Theatrical Provenance

Produced at Peterhouse College, Cambridge, ca. 1586.

Probable Genre(s)

Latin Satirical Comedy (Harbage); Satire (Latin?) (Nelson)

Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues

This play was evidently a topical satire belittling "the little Minnow" Dick Harvey (hence his subsequent window-breaking rage) (Nash, sig.N). Tarrarantantara Turba at Clare Hall, Cambridge had similarly made fun of all three Harvey brothers (Gabriel, Gilbert and Dick).

References to the Play

Only by Nashe.

Critical Commentary

See Wiggins serial number 698.

For What It's Worth

Nelson: "Nash states that at the time of the play Andrew Perne was either vice-chancellor or deputy vice-chancellor, offices he held in 1580-1 and 1585-6 respectively" (REED Cambridge II.930).

Charles Nicholl notes that "the title means 'the raging dunce,' glancing at Duns Scotus, the great mediaeval critic of Aristotle" (34) (Googlebooks).

Works Cited

Nash, Thomas. Haue vvith you to Saffron-vvalden. Or, Gabriell Harueys hunt is vp. London, 1596. Print. EEBO.

Nelson, REED Cambridge II.

Nicholl, Charles. A Cup of News: The Life of Thomas Nashe. Routledge, 1984. Print. Site created and maintained by David McInnis, University of Melbourne; updated 10 May 2010.