The Family of Love

By Lording Barry

Edited by Sophie Tomlinson

The Family of Love

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-8862-9
  • Pages: 256
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: January 2022
  • BIC Category: Early Modern Literature, Literature, DRAMA / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, LITERARY CRITICISM / General, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: c 1500 to c 1800, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: plays & playwrights, Literature & literary studies / Plays, playscripts, The arts / Theatre studies
  • Series: The Revels Plays


The Family of Love charts a successful love intrigue between the cash-strapped Gerardine, and Maria, the sequestered niece of the mercenary Doctor Glister. Their romance unfolds against the dissection of two citizen marriages, the Glisters' and the Purges'. Mistress Purge attends Familist meetings independently, arousing her husband's suspicions about her marital fidelity. Two libertines, Lipsalve and Gudgeon, go in search of sex and solubility (freedom from constipation), receiving more than they bargain for in respect of the latter.

This scholarly edition of Family of Love marks the first occasion on which the comedy is attributed to Lording Barry in print. It brings together literary and historical discussion with a thorough analysis of the play's disputed authorship. Tomlinson highlights Barry's rich vein of burlesque humour in a comedy that combines magic, a trunk, and a mock-court session with vigorous colloquial language.


The Text
Lording Barry: Playwright, Pirate, Gentleman
The 'Moment' of The Family of Love, 1605-1606
The Authorship Debate
Sources and Intertexts
Staging and Stagecraft
The Play
'I hope my body has no organs' (3.2.25): Language and Style
'Efficacy in carnal mixtures' (3.2.45): Marriage and Sexuality
The Death of Melancholy
A Marginal Annotations in The Familie of Love
B ' "Marstonian? ' Features of The Family of Loveidentified by Charles Cathcart
C Representations of the Family of Love in King James I, Basilicon Doron (1603) and John Rogers, The Displaying of an Horrible Sect (1578).


Sophie Tomlinson is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Auckland, in New Zealand Aotearoa

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