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Mortimer His Fall
MORTIMER HIS FALL (published 1641) is an unfinished history play by Ben Jonson
Ben Jonson
, about the overthrow of Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March , who had become de facto ruler of England in 1327 with Isabella of France after deposing and murdering Isabella's husband Edward II of England . The existing text of Mortimer His Fall, was printed in the 1640-1 edition of Jonson's complete works. The text comprises the "argument", or plot summary of the intended five acts, along with the complete first scene and part of the second. The complete scene is a soliloquy by Mortimer in which he is portrayed, "in the 'Machiavel' tradition", as a scheming villain. The fragmentary scene is the beginning of a dialogue between Mortimer and Queen Isabella
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William Gifford
WILLIAM GIFFORD (April 1756 – 31 December 1826) was an English critic, editor and poet, famous as a satirist and controversialist. CONTENTS * 1 Life * 2 Work * 3 References * 4 Further reading * 5 External links LIFEGifford was born in Ashburton , Devonshire to Edward Gifford and Elizabeth Cain. His father, a glazier and house painter, had run away as a youth with vagabond Bampfylde Moore Carew
Bampfylde Moore Carew
, and he remained a carouser throughout his life. He died when William was thirteen; his mother died less than a year later. He was left in the care of a godfather who treated him with little consistency. Gifford was sent in turn to work as a plough boy, a ship's boy, student, and cobbler's apprentice
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Edward III Of England
EDWARD III (13 November 1312 – 21 June 1377) was King of England from 25 January 1327 until his death; he is noted for his military success and for restoring royal authority after the disastrous and unorthodox reign of his father, Edward II . Edward III transformed the Kingdom of England
Kingdom of England
into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe. His long reign of 50 years was the second longest in medieval England and saw vital developments in legislation and government—in particular the evolution of the English parliament —as well as the ravages of the Black Death
Black Death
. Edward was crowned at age fourteen after his father was deposed by his mother, Isabella of France , and her lover Roger Mortimer . At age seventeen he led a successful coup against Mortimer, the de facto ruler of the country, and began his personal reign
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Poetaster
POETASTER /poʊɪtæstər/ , like RHYMESTER or VERSIFIER, is a derogatory term applied to bad or inferior poets. Specifically, poetaster has implications of unwarranted pretentions to artistic value. The word was coined in Latin by Erasmus in 1521. It was first used in English by Ben Jonson in his 1600 play Cynthia\'s Revels ; immediately afterwards Jonson chose it as the title of his 1601 play Poetaster . In that play the "poetaster" character is a satire on John Marston , one of Jonson's rivals in the Poetomachia or War of the Theatres . CONTENTS * 1 Usage * 2 Modern use * 3 Variants * 4 See also * 5 References USAGEWhile poetaster has always been a negative appraisal of a poet's skills, rhymester (or rhymer) and versifier have held ambiguous meanings depending on the commentator’s opinion of a writer's verse
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Masque
The MASQUE was a form of festive courtly entertainment that flourished in 16th- and early 17th-century Europe, though it was developed earlier in Italy
Italy
, in forms including the intermedio (a public version of the masque was the pageant ). A masque involved music and dancing, singing and acting, within an elaborate stage design , in which the architectural framing and costumes might be designed by a renowned architect, to present a deferential allegory flattering to the patron. Professional actors and musicians were hired for the speaking and singing parts. Often the masquers, who did not speak or sing, were courtiers: the English queen Anne of Denmark frequently danced with her ladies in masques between 1603 and 1611, and Henry VIII and Charles I of England
Charles I of England
performed in the masques at their courts
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Philip Henslowe
PHILIP HENSLOWE (c. 1550 – 6 January 1616) was an Elizabethan theatrical entrepreneur and impresario . Henslowe's modern reputation rests on the survival of his diary, a primary source for information about the theatrical world of Renaissance London. He was portrayed by actor Geoffrey Rush
Geoffrey Rush
in the Academy Award-winning film Shakespeare in Love . CONTENTS * 1 Life * 2 Business interests * 2.1 Theatrical interests * 2.2 Animal shows * 3 Henslowe\'s diary * 4 The history of the diary * 5 Notes * 6 References * 7 External links LIFEHenslowe was born in Lindfield , Sussex
Sussex
, into a family with roots in Devon
Devon
. His father, Edmund Henslowe, was appointed Master of the Game for Ashdown Forest
Ashdown Forest
, Sussex, from 1539 until his death in 1562. Before Edmund Henslowe’s death, his daughter Margaret had married Ralf Hogge , an ironmaster
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Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl Of March
ROGER MORTIMER, 3RD BARON MORTIMER, 1ST EARL OF MARCH (25 April 1287 – 29 November 1330), was an English nobleman and powerful Marcher lord who gained many estates in the Welsh Marches
Welsh Marches
and Ireland following his advantageous marriage to the wealthy heiress Joan de Geneville, 2nd Baroness Geneville . In November 1316, he was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland . He was imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1322 for having led the Marcher lords in a revolt against King Edward II in what became known as the Despenser War . He later escaped to France, where he was joined by Edward's queen consort Isabella , whom he took as his mistress. After he and Isabella led a successful invasion and rebellion, Edward was subsequently deposed; Mortimer allegedly arranged his murder at Berkeley Castle
Berkeley Castle

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Isabella Of France
ISABELLA OF FRANCE (1295 – 22 August 1358), sometimes described as the SHE-WOLF OF FRANCE, was Queen of England as the wife of Edward II , and regent of England from 1326 until 1330. She was the youngest surviving child and only surviving daughter of Philip IV of France
France
and Joan I of Navarre . Queen Isabella was notable at the time for her beauty, diplomatic skills, and intelligence. Isabella arrived in England at the age of 12 during a period of growing conflict between the king and the powerful baronial factions. Her new husband was notorious for the patronage he lavished on his favourite , Piers Gaveston , but the queen supported Edward during these early years, forming a working relationship with Piers and using her relationship with the French monarchy to bolster her own authority and power
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History Play
HISTORY is one of the three main genres in Western theatre alongside tragedy and comedy , although it originated, in its modern form, thousands of years later than the other primary genres. For this reason, it is often treated as a subset of tragedy. A play in this genre is known as a HISTORY PLAY and is based on a historical narrative , often set in the medieval or early modern past. History emerged as a distinct genre from tragedy in Renaissance England . The best known examples of the genre are the history plays written by William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
, whose plays still serve to define the genre. History plays also appear elsewhere in British and Western literature, such as Thomas Heywood 's Edward IV , Schiller's Mary Stuart or the Dutch genre Gijsbrecht van Aemstel
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The Speeches At Prince Henry's Barriers
THE SPEECHES AT PRINCE HENRY\'S BARRIERS, sometimes called THE LADY OF THE LAKE, is a masque or entertainment written by Ben Jonson in honour of Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales , the son and heir of King James I of England . The speeches were performed on 6 January 1610 in conjunction with the ceremony known as Prince Henry's Barriers. CONTENTS * 1 Barriers * 2 Show * 3 References * 4 External links BARRIERS"Barriers" was a stylized martial combat, conducted on foot with swords and pikes; it was something like a joust without horses. Though ceremonial in nature, the practice had some inherent risk (as jousting did), and the sixteen-year-old Prince Henry had to persuade his reluctant father to allow his participation. The ceremonial challenge that initiated the barriers occurred on 31 December 1609; Prince Henry then kept an "open table" at St. James\'s Palace , which cost £100 per day
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Love Freed From Ignorance And Folly
LOVE FREED FROM IGNORANCE AND FOLLY was a Jacobean era masque , written by Ben Jonson and designed by Inigo Jones , with music by Alfonso Ferrabosco . It was performed on 3 February 1611 at Whitehall Palace , and published in 1616 . Love Freed from Ignorance and Folly proved to be the last masque in which Anne of Denmark , King James I 's Queen, performed. CONTENTS * 1 Background * 2 The show * 3 Fees * 4 Publication * 5 References * 6 External links BACKGROUNDDuring the previous six years, the English Court of King James I had established a pattern of staging a major (and expensive) masque in the Christmas season, often on Twelfth Night . James's queen, Anne of Denmark , was a prime mover is these entertainments, and repeatedly performed in them herself, as in the masques of Blackness (1605 ), Beauty (1608 ), and Queens (1609 )
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The Entertainment At Britain's Burse
THE ENTERTAINMENT AT BRITAIN’S BURSE is a newly discovered masque (kind of play) written by Ben Jonson in 1609 and commissioned by Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury , in celebration of the opening of the “New Exchange” (essentially a shopping mall). This masque was discovered by James Knowles and published in 1997. It is an unusual Johnson text because it seems to be in celebration of consumer culture while so many of his other plays and poems condemn it—though there might be some satire intended. There are essentially only three characters. Each character performs a rather lengthy monologue including two songs by the final actor. The masque begins with “The Key Keeper” who welcomes a “Maiestie” and “roiall lady” assumed to be the king (James I ) and the queen to the New Exchange. The Key Keeper describes the exchange like a “newe region,” a place still foreign to himself containing many unexplored wonders
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Oberon, The Faery Prince
OBERON, THE FAERY PRINCE was a masque written by Ben Jonson , with costumes, sets and stage effects designed by Inigo Jones , and music by Alfonso Ferrabosco and Robert Johnson . Oberon saw the introduction to English Renaissance theatre of scenic techniques that became standard for dramatic productions through the coming centuries. The text of the masque was first published in the initial folio collection of Jonson\'s works that appeared in 1616 . CONTENTS * 1 The show * 2 Scenery * 3 Costs * 4 Influences * 5 Modern production * 6 See also * 7 References * 8 External links THE SHOWOberon was performed on 1 January 1611 at Whitehall Palace , in the Banqueting Hall. Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales , the son and then-heir of James I , took the title role
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The Masque Of Blackness
THE MASQUE OF BLACKNESS was an early Jacobean era masque , first performed at the Stuart Court in the Banqueting Hall of Whitehall Palace on Twelfth Night , 6 January 1605. It was written by Ben Jonson at the request of Anne of Denmark
Anne of Denmark
, the queen consort of King James I , who wished the masquers to be disguised as Africans. Anne was one of the performers in the masque along with her court ladies, all of whom appeared in black face makeup. The plot of the masque follows the ladies arriving at the English Court talking amongst themselves of how black complexions used to be beautiful, "that in their black, the perfect'st beauty grows." Reflecting the historical context of the masque, the ladies go on to discuss how black skin is now deemed the least attractive, "now black, with black despair" in favor of skin that has been "blanch" meaning whitened or lightened
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Love Restored
LOVE RESTORED was a Jacobean era masque , written by Ben Jonson ; it was performed on Twelfth Night , 6 January 1612 , and first published in 1616 . The Dictionary of National Biography says of the masque, "This vindication of love from wealth is a defense of the court revels against the strictures of the puritan city." Compared to Jonson's previous masques for the Stuart Court, Love Restored was unusual in several respects. Love Restored could be called a "budget" masque, in that its total bill was only in the hundreds of pounds rather than the thousands; specifically, it cost only £280. In this it was different from Jonson's earlier masques like The Masque of Blackness and others, though similar to the immediately preceding masque, Love Freed from Ignorance and Folly . Even more unusually, Love Restored was staged without the participation of Inigo Jones , who had designed the costumes, sets, and stage effects of the prior masques
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Hymenaei
HYMENAEI, or The Masque of Hymen, was a masque written by Ben Jonson for the marriage of Robert Devereux, 3rd Earl of Essex , and Lady Frances Howard , daughter of the Earl of Suffolk , and performed on their wedding day, 5 January 1606. The costumes, sets, and scenic effects were designed by Inigo Jones , and the music composed by Alfonso Ferrabosco . One of Jonson's earlier masques, Hymenaei is significant in the evolution of the masque form in the early 17th century; its two sets of contrasting dancers constituted one step in the evolution of the anti-masque that Jonson would realize fully in The Masque of Queens three years later (1609)
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