Difference between revisions of "Madon, King of Britain"

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==Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues==
 
==Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues==
  
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Madon (or Madan), King of Britain, was son of Locrine (cf. the story of '''"[[Estrild]]"'''). After his father's death, Madon was not old enough to assume the crown himself; Guendoline, his mother, acted as Regent ("Britain's first woman ruler", as Wiggins notes, 1608). Guendoline passes power to Madon in due course, and he proves a tyrant.
 
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==References to the Play==
 
==References to the Play==

Revision as of 23:55, 7 March 2016

Beaumont, Francis (?), c.(1606)


Historical Records

Stationers' Register

29 June 1660 (SR2, 2.271, CLIO)

Master
Hum. Moseley
Entred for his copies under the hand of MASTER THRALE warden, the severall plays following that is to say . . . . xiijs


. . .

The History of Madon, King of Brittain, by F. Beamont.




Theatrical Provenance

Unknown. If the play really were by Beaumont, it might have belonged to the Children of the Queen's Revels or alternatively the King's Men.


Probable Genre(s)

Pseudo-History (Harbage); History (Wiggins).


Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues

Madon (or Madan), King of Britain, was son of Locrine (cf. the story of "Estrild"). After his father's death, Madon was not old enough to assume the crown himself; Guendoline, his mother, acted as Regent ("Britain's first woman ruler", as Wiggins notes, 1608). Guendoline passes power to Madon in due course, and he proves a tyrant.


References to the Play

Information welcome.


Critical Commentary

Chambers noted that "Madan is a character in Locrine, but even Moseley can hardly have ascribed that long-printed play to Beaumont" (3.233).

This lost play's evident interest in ancient British history led Tristan Marshall to suggest that it may have appealed to audiences who also paid to see Cymbeline, King of Britain (68).

McMullan suggests that it is "probable that Beaumont wrote Madon, King of Britain for a children's company, which may very possibly have been Paul's", and that he may have written it as early as 1605, before meeting Fletcher. (278n).


For What It's Worth

Unfortunately Moseley's registration of the title is also the only grounds for ascribing the play to Beaumont, and Moseley's ascriptions are far from certain. In this same batch of entries he registered "King Stephen', "Duke Humphrey", and "Iphis and Ianthe" to Shakespeare, and 6 years earlier he had registered "The Maiden's Holiday" to Marlowe and Day. Moseley seems to have had a number of old playscripts in his possession, one of which may well have actually been by Beaumont -- and as Wiggins (1608) notes, a number of plays dealing with early British history at the end of the first decade of the 17th century -- around the time Beaumont was most active -- makes the existence of a "Madon" play at least plausible.


Works Cited

Marshall, Tristan. Theatre and Empire: Great Britain on the London Stages Under James VI and I. Manchester: MUP, 2000.
McMullan, Gordan. The Politics of Unease in the Plays of John Fletcher. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1994.




Site created and maintained by David McInnis, University of Melbourne; updated 08 March 2016.