Knot of Fools, The

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Anon. (>1613)

Historical Records

Accounts of the Office of the Chamber (MS. Rawl. A 239; Cook and Wilson, 55-6):

47b Item paid to Ion Heminges vppon the Cowncells warrant dated at Whitehall xx0 Die Maij 1613 for presentinge before the Princes Highnes the Lady Elizabeth and the Prince Pallaytne Elector fowerteene several playes viz one playe called ‡ Pilaster, One other called the Knott: of Fooles, One other Much adoe abowte nothing, The ‡ Mayeds Tragedy, The merye Dyvell of Edmonton, The Tempest, A Kinge and no Kinge The Twins Tragedie The Winters Tale, Sr Ione Falstafe, The oore of Venice, The Nobleman, Caesars Tragedye And one other called Love Lyes a bleedinge, All wch Playes weare played wthin the tyme of this Accompte, viz pd the some of . . . . . . iiijxxxiijli vjs viiijd

Theatrical Provenance

The play was one of 20 performed by the King’s Men at court through the winter holiday season of 1612-13 (the other six plays named are A Bad Beginning Makes a Good Ending (q.v.), The Captain, The Alchemist, Cardenio (q.v.), The Hotspurr [1H4?], and Benidicte and Betteris [Much Ado].

In addition, the Prince’s Men put on the two parts of The Knaves (q.v.); the Children of the Chapel put on The Coxcombe, Cupid’s Revenge, and The Widow’s Tears; Lady Elizabeth’s Men put on Cockle de Moye [The Dutch Courtesan] and Raymond Duke of Lyons (q.v.)

The winter of 1612-13 was a bittersweet time for the court. Prince Henry died suddenly of a fever on 6 November 1612, yet the marriage of Princess Elizabeth to the Elector Palatine took place as scheduled on Valentine’s Day, 1613.

Probable Genre(s)

Comedy? (Harbage)

Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues

None known.

References to the Play

None known.

Critical Commentary

(information needed)

For What It's Worth

(information needed)


Court, Blackfriars

Works Cited

Cook, David, and F. P. Wilson (eds). “Dramatic Records in the Declared Accounts of the Treasurer of the Chamber 1558–1642.” in Malone Society Collections, 1961, vi.

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