First Introduction of the Civil Wars of France, The
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 }
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.
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
Gurr absorbs the one payment to Dekker for "The First Introduction" into the payment-set for part 1 of the "Civil Wars of France," explaining that the payment "may either be for a prequel to add to the three parts of the Civil Wars, or more likely a payment for changes to the first part" (239-40, n89.)
For What It's Worth
Site created and maintained by Roslyn L. Knutson, Professor Emerita, University of Arkansas at Little Rock; updated 12 June 2019.