Ram alley, or Merry tricks (Lording Barry, 1611): a critical edition

Fraser, Robert Duncan (2013) Ram alley, or Merry tricks (Lording Barry, 1611): a critical edition. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

PDF - Published Version
Download (24MB) | Preview


The object of this thesis is to produce a critical edition of Lording Barry’s play Ram Alley
(first published in 1611 by Robert Wilson and printed by George Eld). This edition will
consist of (a) an annotated, modernised spelling version of the text, that text being based
on a bibliographic study of the first quarto, and (b) an introduction which will cover: the
printing of the first quarto, the life of Lording Barry and his critical reception, the play’s
place in and contribution to early Jacobean city comedy (particularly in relation to the use
of wit and bawdy in masculine self-definition), and the problems of annotating a text
which is so reliant for its humour on bawdy innuendo.
The annotation will be very much fuller than is normal for an edition of an early modern
play text, aiming to provide not just explanation but also commentary on and
contextualisation of the language, contemporary and cultural references, characterisation,
and action.
This play is something of a by-way in the early Jacobean drama, and, like its author, is
little known. It is, however, a competent example of the type of comedy produced for the
private theatres and reflects, therefore, on the work of other, better known dramatists, in
particular Thomas Middleton.
In terms of original contribution to the field of study, this thesis will, it is hoped, add to
our knowledge and understanding of:
1. the text of Ram Alley
2. the production of the first quarto of Ram Alley
3. the working practices of the printer, George Eld (who was also responsible
for the first quarto of Troilus and Cressida and of Shakespeare’s Sonnets)
4. the nature and hermeneutics of wit in Ram Alley
5. approaches to editing early modern dramatic comedy
6. Jacobean city comedy as a genre.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Arts and Humanities > English
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature > PR0161 By period > PR0401 Modern > PR0421 Elizabethan era (1550-1640)
P Language and Literature > PR English literature > PR0621 Drama
P Language and Literature > PR English literature > PR0931 Wit and humour
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2013 07:58
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2022 15:50
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/47147

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update