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Preparing to present

2011 March 6
by Diane Jakacki

I’ve been working under the radar, doing research on the Patrons and Performances website, realizing that if I use DejaVu I can access the REED volumes in a more meaningful way than through PDFs, and transcribing more of the Jests. I thought I had finished the Countrie jests yesterday, only to realize in looking at Halliwell’s edition that there are at least ten more that were not listed in the EEBO scan I had been using. So I will need to – at some point – cross-reference the editions to see what other emendations and additions/subtractions can be found.

One exciting realization is that I can begin to compare some of the Countrie Jests with performance records of the Queen’s Men. For example, there’s a reference in “Tarlton’s Jest of a Bristowman” (2.3.4 in my wiki) to the Queen’s Men performing in Bristow (Bristol) around the time of the St. James Fair. REED records document payment for performances at the Guildhall in Bristol in 1583, 1586, 1587 and 1588 during July and August. The St. James Fair was, apparently, held on July 25. So whether or not the subject of the jest occurred, it is possible to begin to map *some* of the jests against Tarlton’s actual movements around England.

All of this is leading up to the REED workshop that will be held next month. I’ve begun working on the paper I will present, and am hoping to get as much information uploaded to the wiki – both horizontally and vertically – as possible in the next three weeks.

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