Playhouse wills


Edited by E Honigmann and Susan Brock

Playhouse wills

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-3017-8
  • Pages: 296
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £19.99
  • Published Date: April 2015
  • BIC Category: LITERARY CRITICISM / Drama, PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / General, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: c 1500 to c 1800, The arts / Theatre: individual actors & directors, Literature & literary studies / Literary companions, book reviews & guides, Theatre Studies, Individual actors & performers, Theatre studies
  • Series: Revels Plays Companion Library


This edition, now available in paperback, constitutes an archive of source materials in the field of Elizabethan and Jacobean theatre. It is a collection of over one hundred wills left by those who participated in the life of the theatre - from actors and dramatists to carpenters and costumiers. The wills not only offer vital historical evidence but are also important human documents, testaments to the social, financial, religious and sentimental lives of Shakespeare's contemporaries.

Of the wills reprinted here, one third were newly discovered, and many of the rest printed for the first time from the original wills, thus preserving the vacillations and abandoned intentions of the testators.


Social history
1. The theatrical community
2. Wealth and finance
3. The personal voice
Testamentary procedure
4. Wills and the law
5. The making of the will
6. The form of the will
7. Probate
List of testators by date of will or administration
List of testators by occupation
8. Wills
9. Some administrations of interest
10. Inventories
1. Acting companies to 1642
2. Printed indexes to wills
Index of persons


E.A.J. Honigmann was Joseph Cowen Professor of English at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Susan Brock is Honorary Fellow of the Shakespeare Institute at the University of Birmingham.

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