Contextual studies of the dramatic records in the area around The Wash, c. 1350-1550
This thesis engages in a number of contextual studies of the records of dramatic activity in the area around The Wash during a period ranging from the fourteenth to the sixteenth centuries. In doing so, it does not limit itself strictly to mimetic drama, but engages in such examinations of the `paradramatic' and other records as are necessary to highlight the socio-cultural history and also the documentary context of entertainment in this area. Although this is based on the Malone Society's edited collections of records for plays and players in Norfolk and in Lincolnshire, entirely new and carefully edited transcriptions of extracts from all the surviving documents that are discussed are provided in a series of appendices. From these transcriptions, the greater Wash area is seen to have records which evince a highly dramatic culture dependent on entertainment and social ritual. The surviving records of King's Lynn, Snettisham, the Lestrange household of Hunstanton, Tilney All Saints, Leverton, Long Sutton and Sutterton are studied in depth with reference to surrounding communities. The nature of the study in each town is determined not only by the type of primary documentary evidence which survives, but also the entertainment recorded within these sources. Many new records accidentally passed over by the Malone Society have been found and transcribed. In addition, those records not within the scope of the Malone Society's publication guidelines but which give a documentary context to records under consideration are also transcribed. The area around The Wash is seen to possess a wide range of entertainment deeply connected to its social and religious culture.