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BIC Excellence Award

The N-Town Plays

Edited by Victor I Scherb and Douglas Sugano

The N-Town Plays
Paperback, 514 pages £31.50
Published: 2007
ISBN: 9781580441162
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Subjects: Medieval Institute Publications, Medieval Studies
Series: TEAMS Middle English Texts Series

In the late 1400s in eastern England, a scribe was in the process of compiling a large dramatic manuscript of over two hundred vellum folios. The manuscript contains components of an independent Mary Play, parts one and two of an independent Passion Play and an independent Assumption of Mary Play, as well as ten play subjects that appear in no other English cycles - the killing of Lamech in the Noah Play, the Root of Jesse, the story of Joachim and Anne, the Presentation of Mary in the Temple, the Parliament of Heaven, the Trial of Mary and Joseph, the scene of Mary and the cherry tree in the Nativity Play, the Death of Herod, the scene of Veronica's handkerchief in the Procession to Calvary, and the appearance of the risen Christ to the Virgin Mary in her Assumption Play. This edition acknowledges the N-Town compiler who took plays from various contexts and integrated them into an existing cycle of plays, thus treating the manuscript as if it were a superstructure whose parts could be replaced, renovated, and supplemented without altering the fundamental coherence of the overarching design.

Acknowledgments Introduction The N-Town Plays The Banns (Proclamation) 1. Creation of Heaven
Fall of Lucifer 2. Creation of the World
Fall of Man 3. Cain and Abel 4. Noah 5. Abraham and Isaac 6. Moses 7. Root of Jesse The Mary Play (Plays 8-11 and 13) 8. Joachim and Anne 9. Presentation of Mary in the Temple 10. Marriage of Mary and Joseph 11. Parliament of Heaven
Salutation and Conception 12. Joseph's Doubt 13. Visit to Elizabeth 14. Trial of Mary and Joseph 15. Nativity 16. Shepherds 17. [There is no Play 17 in the manuscript] 18. Magi 19. Purification 20. Slaughter of the Innocents
Death of Herod 21. Christ and the Doctors 22. Baptism 23. Parliament of Hell
Temptation 24. Woman Taken in Adultery 25. Raising of Lazarus Passion Play 1 (Plays 26-28) 26. Conspiracy
Entry into Jerusalem 27. Last Supper
Conspiracy with Judas 28. Betrayal
Procession of Saints Passion Play 2 (Plays 29-34) 29. Herod
Trial before Annas and Cayphas 30. Death of Judas
Trials before Pilate and Herod 31. Satan and Pilate's Wife
Second Trial before Pilate 32. Procession to Calvary
Crucifixion 33. Harrowing of Hell (1) 34. Burial
Guarding of the Sepulcher 35. Harrowing of Hell (2)
Appearance to Mary
Pilate and Soldiers 36. Announcement to the Marys
Peter and John at the Sepulcher 37. Appearance to Mary Magdalene 38. Cleophas and Luke
Appearance to Thomas 39. Ascension
Selection of Matthias 40. Pentecost 41. Assumption of Mary 42. Judgment Day Explanatory Notes Textual Notes Bibliography Glossary

Douglas Sugano is Professor of English at Whitworth University. His research interests include late medieval drama, Shakespeare, and literary criticism. Victor I. Scherb is Professor of English at the University of Texas at Tyler. He specializes in late medieval and early Renaissance literature.

Publication Details:

 Paperback , 514 pages

BIC Code:
  HIS037010, PER011020
 Medieval Institute Publications


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