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Anon. (1597)

Historical Records

Henslowe's diary

F.26 / Greg 1.51:

Under the heading, "Jn the name of god amen begininge the 25 of novemb[er] 1596 as foloweth the lord admerall players":

begynyng in leant
march 1597
. . 19 . . ne.. . . tt at gvido. . . . . . . . . . 02|00|00-13-01
22 tt at gvido. . . . . . . . . . 01|04|00-03-00
. .
Easter mvnday
wensday 30 tt at gvido. . . . . . . . . . 02|17|00-00-00
. .
Aprelle 1597
4 tt at gvido. . . . . . . . . 01|08|00-04-03
. .
Aprelle 1597 23 tt at gvido. . . . . . . . . 00|16|01-11-00

F22v / Greg 1.44:

Under the heading, "lente vnto my lord admerall players at severall tymes in Redey money as foloweth in 1596":
ll s d
44 - 06 - 00 lent vnto mr porter the 7 of marche 1597 . . . . . . . . . . . iiijll
lent vnto my sonne for to by sylckes & other thinges for}
gvido the 14 of marche . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . } iiijll ixs

Henslowe Papers

Greg, Papers 116:

Under Henslowe's title, "The Enventary tacken of all the properties for my Lord Admeralles men, the 10 of Marche 1598" is:

Item, j tome of Guido, j tome of Dido, j bedsteade.

Greg, Papers 119:

Under Henslowe's title, "The Enventorey of all the aparell of the Lord Admeralles men, taken the 13th of Marche 1598, as followeth:" is

Item, j cloth clocke of russete with coper lace, called Guydoes clocke.

Theatrical Provenance

Performed by the Admiral's men as a new play on 19 March 1597.

Probable Genre(s)

Unknown (Harbage); foreign history (Schelling).

Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues

From so brief a title, it is difficult to conclude with any certainty what the subject matter (and thus the possible sources) of this play might be, but there are a number of potential candidates for the eponymous role.

Guido Marquesse of Thusca was said to have smothered Pope John XI (Albott 200).

Guido Bonotus was a famous astrologer (e.g. see Harvey, who refers to "Guido Bonatus a famous and renowmed Astrologian of Italy", 10).

Guido de Montano, "whose fame goeth wide" (Ripley sig.E3), appears to be a fourteenth- or fifteenth-century French philosopher or alchemist.

Lodowick Lloyd and Thomas Bilson, amongst others, tell us that on 21 Feb 890AD, "Guido king of Italie a marshall man was by pope Steeuen the 5. of that name, crowned emperour of Rome vppon this day" (Lloyd 62) and that "Guido the Duke of Spoletum" was chosen "to be king of Italie" (Bilson 423).

None of these possibilities seems especially convincing though.

A more viable possibility is Schelling's supposition (see Critical Commentary below) about Guido Guerra, which if correct, may mean that the lost play Guelphs and Ghibbelines (1595) (and any of the historical sources associated with that drama) is of relevance here. Guido Guerra V (1220-1272?) was a Captain of the Guelph army in Florence (c.1255), and was depicted by Dante as one of the three Florentine sodomites (Inferno Canto 16). He is mentioned in various texts, including Machiavelli's The Florentine historie (trans. 1595), pp.32ff.

The other contender, advanced here for the first time, is the story of Guido and Sybilla in Foxe.

References to the Play

<List any known or conjectured references to the lost play here.>

Critical Commentary

In a section on "historical dramas on Italian subjects," Felix E. Schelling notes that "[i]n the [fifteen] nineties, several titles suggesting Italian biographical subjects appear among the entries of Henslowe" (1.408). He infers that "Guido most likely concerned Guido Guerra, a soldier of fortune and leader of the Guelphs in the Florence of the middle of the thirteenth century" (1.409), and thus groups this lost play with The Duke of Milan and the Duke of Mantua (1579), Machiavelli (1590s), Pope Joan (1590s), Cosmo de' Medici (1590s), Daborne's Macchiavel and the Devil (1613), and Tasso's Melancholy (1594). Beyond the plays listed by Schelling, this suggestion of Guido Guerra as subject matter has the potential to connect this lost play to another lost play, Guelphs and Ghibbelines (1595).

For What It's Worth

<Enter any miscellaneous points that may be relevant, but don't fit into the above categories. This is the best place for highly conjectural thoughts.>

Works Cited

Albott, Robert. VVits theater of the little world. 1599. Print.

Harvey, Richard. An astrological discourse vpon the great and notable coniunction of the tvvo superiour planets, Saturne & Iupiter, which shall happen the 28 day of April, 1583. With a briefe declaration of the effectes, which the late eclipse of the sunne 1582. is yet heerafter to woorke. / Written newly by Richard Harvey: partely, to supplie that is wanting in cõmon prognostications: and partely by praediction of mischiefes ensuing, either to breed some endeuour of preuention by foresight, so farre as lyeth in vs: or at leastwise, to arme vs with pacience beforehande. 1583. Print.

Lloyd, Lodowick. The first part of the diall of daies containing 320. Romane triumphes, besides the triumphant obelisks and pyramydes of the Aegyptians, the pillers, arches, and trophies triumphant, of the Graecians, and the Persians, with their pompe and magnificence: of feastes and sacrifices both of the Iewes and of the Gentils, with the stately games and plaies belonging to these feastes and sacrifices, with the birthes and funeral pomps of kinges and emperours, as you shall finde more at large in the 2. part, wherein all kind of triumphes are enlarged. By Lodowick Lloid Esquire. 1590. Print.

Machiavelli, Niccolò. The Florentine historie. Written in the Italian tongue, by Nicholo Macchiavelli, citizen and secretarie of Florence. And translated into English, by T.B. Esquire. 1595. Print. Schelling, Felix E. Elizabethan Drama 1558-1642. 2 vols. Boston: Houghton Mifflin company, 1908. Print.

Ripley, George. The compound of alchymy. Or The ancient hidden art of archemie conteining the right & perfectest meanes to make the philosophers stone, aurum potabile, with other excellent experiments. Diuided into twelue gates. First written by the learned and rare philosopher of our nation George Ripley, sometime Chanon of Bridlington in Yorkeshyre: & dedicated to K. Edvvard the 4. Whereunto is adioyned his epistle to the King, his vision, his wheele, & other his workes, neuer before published: with certaine briefe additions of other notable writers concerning the same. Set foorth by Raph Rabbards Gentleman, studious and expert in archemicall artes. 1591. Print.

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