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By Tom Lockwood

Tom Lockwood's examine is the 1st exam of Jonson's position within the texts and tradition of the Romantic age. half one of many publication explores theatrical, severe, and editorial responses to Jonson, together with his position within the post-Garrick theatre, serious estimations of his existence and paintings, and the politically charged making and reception of William Gifford's 1816 variation of Jonson's Works. half explores allusive and imitative responses to Jonson's poetry and performs within the writings of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and explores how Jonson serves variously as a version during which to degree the poet laureate, Robert Southey, and Coleridge's eldest son, Hartley. The creation and end find this "Romantic Jonson" opposed to his eighteenth-century and Victorian re-creations. Ben Jonson within the Romantic Age exhibits us a assorted, cellular, and contested Jonson and gives a clean point of view at the Romantic age.

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Ben Jonson in the Romantic Age

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In this distress he was received into the house of Mr. Waldron, where he lay concealed for some time; when the place of his retreat was at length discovered, he took refuge in Flanders, where he died after a few months residence, in the summer of 1791. As Gifford’s account makes clear, it was not only under Waldron’s ‘hospitable roof’, but under his influence, that Whalley ‘resumed the care of Jonson’ (1816, i. p. ccxxxvii). In 1802 Waldron published The Shakspearean Miscellany, a collection that, true to its name, mixed poetry with theatrical anecdote, stage history with biography.

12 The relationships between amateur actors, audiences, and professional actors were fluid, as Jonson’s example will demonstrate. The late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century theatre—with its mainpieces and afterpieces, prologues, epilogues, and farces, songs, dances, and leaps (of which more later)—offered a panoply of modes of entertainment in any given evening far more various than the relatively narrow compass of the theatre today; and Jonson stands at the centre of that multiplicity. What was the relation, I want to ask, between the mainpiece at Drury Lane on the evening of 13 January 1776 (Colman’s Epicœne) and its afterpiece (Garrick’s The Jubilee)?

303, iii. 369–70. 42 Epicoene (1776), sig. A4r , lines 21–6. 43 The Town and Country Magazine; or, Universal Repository of Knowledge, Instruction, and Entertainment, 6 (1775), 726–7. 44 The copy of the 1640 folio of Jonson’s Workes now at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC (shelfmark STC 14753 Copy 7) belonged not to R. B. 45 Clerimont, via Epicœne, and Pliant, via The Alchemist, are both Jonsonian names; even Surface recalls Face in The Alchemist. But, more strongly, the dramatic architecture Act IV, scene 3, in The School for Scandal, the ‘Screen Scene’, recalls the intricately timed plotting of Jonson’s major Jacobean comedies: Lady Teazle hidden behind the screen and Sir Peter moved off-stage into the closet by the stage-managing Joseph Surface invoke Mosca shuffling suitors in Volpone, and Face distributing dupes in The Alchemist.

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