The Humorous Courtier

The Humorous Courtier

The Humorous Courtier

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The Humorous Courtier, also called The Duke, is a Caroline era stage play, a comedy written by James Shirley, first published in 1640.

The Humorous Courtier was licensed for performance by Sir Henry Herbert, the Master of the Revels, on 17 May 1631, under the title The Duke.Arthur Huntington Nason, James Shirley, Dramatist: A Biographical and Critical Study, New York, 1915; reprinted New York, Benjamin Blom, 1967; p. 102. Robert Stanley Forsythe, The Relations of Shirley's Plays to the Elizabethan Drama, New York, Columbia University Press, 1914; p. 279. Both Nason and Forsythe sensibly reject F. G. Fleay's argument that another title, The Conceited Duke, is the same play, since the Duke in Shirley's play isn't conceited. Like most of Shirley's plays, it was acted by Queen Henrietta's Men at the Cockpit Theatre. As The Humorous Courtier, the play was entered into the Stationers' Register on 29 July 1639. The 1640 quarto, printed by Thomas Cotes for the bookseller William Cooke, contains an interesting bibliogaphic feature in its prefatory material: a catalogue of 20 plays by Shirley published to that date.David Moore Bergeron, Textual Patronage in English Drama, 1570–1640, London, Ashgate, 2006; p. 207. Such catalogues were only then coming into existence. (Since Cooke had already published a number of Shirley's plays, this promotional catalogue served his own interest.)

As its title indicates, the play is a humors...
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