Mr Robinson and Henry Chettle (1602)
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Purchased for the Admiral's men at the Fortune.
Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues
The enigmatic title has spawned some desperate conjecture from critics, but none have proved particularly satisfactory.
References to the Play
Wiggins (#1354) surveys the various suggestions for interpreting the title (noting the "especial desperation" of The Female Anchoress, with its redundant adjective"). With "equal lack of conviction", he raises the possibility of "a deaf or confused Henslowe mangling the word calamanco (meaning a type of fine chequered cloth)" or the possibility of "the title as the worn-down remnants of Philip the Melancholy" (but dismisses this possibility on the grounds that Henslowe "would then have bought the play twice over" within the space of about a month). The "nearest long-shot" he offers is Philomela, which he notes "fails to account for the last three letters. Wiggins concludes that "'Felmelanco' might just as well be an invented proper name, and therefore unlikely to be traceable".
For What It's Worth
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