First Introduction of the Civil Wars of France, The

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Historical Records

Payments to Playwrights (Henslowe's Diary)


F. 52v (Greg, I.100)

Lent vnto wm Jube the 20 of Janewary 1598 }
to lend mr dickers in earneste of his playe } iijli
called the firste Introducyon of the syvell }
wares of france the some of }



Theatrical Provenance

At the Rose playhouse until September 1600, the Admiral's men purchased "The First Introduction" after having bought (and presumably staged) a three-part serial on that same civil war (parts 1, 2, and 3 of "The Civil Wars of France') during the winter of 1598-99. The company also still had Christopher Marlowe's Massacre at Paris, which they revived during the winter of 1601-2 after moving to the Fortune.

Probable Genre(s)

History (Harbage)

Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues

Martin Wiggins, Catalogue #1175 suggests that the main narrative source of "The First Introduction" was Commentaries by Jean de Serres, which had been translated into English in 1574 by Thomas Tymme. Wiggins deduces from that source that this play featured the Duke of Guise, massacres of Huguenots, and the Guise's assassination in 1588.

References to the Play

None known.

Critical Commentary

Information welcome.

For What It's Worth

Information welcome.

Works Cited




Site created and maintained by Roslyn L. Knutson, Professor Emerita, University of Arkansas at Little Rock; updated 12 June 2019.