Launch of Records of Early English Drama for Berkshire

Today we share the exciting news that REED has launched its new digital edition of The Records of Early English Drama: Berkshire volume, edited by Alexandra F. Johnston. Moreover, the material is now freely available at REED Online, here:  https://ereed.library.utoronto.ca/.

REED head office in Toronto adds the following:

‘We are pleased to make available the long-awaited records for
Berkshire and equally delighted that for the first time users will be
able to search across two collections for locations, people and a wide
range of topics, such as summer games or the King’s Men. We anticipate
an ever-growing list of results as more collections are published
online.

The REED: Berkshire records illustrate a rich popular entertainment
tradition. The most prominent details of mimetic activity come from
the parish of St Laurence, Reading, which has preserved records
running from 1498 to 1573, among the fullest and richest in England.
Virtually every kind of mimetic activity is featured–an Easter play
with evidence from 1498 to 1537, an early sixteenth-century Creation
play, a Robin Hood game, morris dancing, church ales, maypoles, and
Hock gatherings. Reading was a stopping place for all kinds of late
medieval travelling entertainers as well as for some of the most
prominent professional companies, including Queen Elizabeth’s, the
earl of Leicester’s, and King James’ players, along with those of
other royal family members in the early seventeenth century. Noble
households are also well represented in the collection, which includes
an edition of “The Entertainment of Queen Elizabeth” by Lady Elizabeth
Russell at Bisham in 1592.’

Portrait of Elizabeth Hoby (1528-1609), later Lady Russell (née Elizabeth Cooke, Elizabeth Hoby), Anon., Great Hall at Bisham Abbey, Berks., UK (public domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Elizabeth_Hoby.JPG)

REED North-East congratulates Alexandra Johnston and REED team on this exciting new resource!

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