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RAINOLDS, John (1549--1607)
Th'overthrow of stage-playes, by the way of controversie betwixt D. Gager and D. Rainoldes, wherein all the reasons that can be made for them are notably refuted; th'objections aunswered, and the case so cleared and resolved, as that the iudgement of any man, that is not froward and perverse, may easelie be satisfied. Wherein is manifestly proved, that it is not onely vnlawfull to bee an actor, but a beholder of those vanities. Wherevnto are added also and annexed in th'end certeine latine letters betwixt the sayed Maister Rainoldes, and D. Gentiles, reader of the civill law in Oxford, concerning the same matter.
Middelburg [printed by Richard Schilders], 1599.
[8], 163, [1], 264 [i.e. 164]--190, [1] p. ; 19.0 cm. (4º)

Imprint from ESTC. Page 164 misnumbered 264. The letters between Rainold and Gentili are in Latin. In the 1582 'Oxford Debates', the protestant scholar John Rainolds debated on terms set by Sir Francis Walsingham, with John Hart (d. 1586), a converted Jesuit, on the differences between the English and Roman churches. The 'Overthrow of Stage-Plays', ostensibly a debate between Rainolds and Gager over the academic plays performed in Oxford, was the central document in a celebrated debate over the morality of the late Elizabethan stage. It was written in 1592--3 but only published in 1599. Rainolds was president of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and was a pivotal figure at the Hampton Court Conference (1603--4) which led to the Authorised Version of the Bible; William Gager, a prominent Oxford author of academic drama, had presented his Latin tragedy Meleager, in 1592, and defended the performance of plays at Christ Church. A second edition of the work appeared in 1629, only a few years before Prynne's Histrio-mastix (q.v.) recapitulated the Puritan position. See Lowe, Arnott, & Robinson, English theatrical literature, 1559--1900 (London 1970), 267; F.S. Boas, University drama in the Tudor Age, 1914. ESTC s115568; STC (2nd ed.) 20616.

Copy Notes Although lacking his usual pencil markings, this may be the copy purchased by Boone from the sale of the celebrated actor John Philip Kemble, January-February 1821 (q.v., 9th day, lot 1620) for 8s. (along with John Northbrook's Treatise, 1599, q.v., which was lot 1619); a number of other items purchased by Boone at this sale are also matched by items now in Soane's library. It was also at this sale that James Boswell the younger bought Kemble's copy of the First Folio of Shakespeare (q.v.), which John Britton later bought on Soane's behalf at the Boswell sale in 1825. Inscribed in ink on the title-page 2nd / Rob: Mandey. and in another hand R/ (repeated); an earlier ownership inscription has been obscured. Extensive ink underlinings. Page references in ink (some cropped by the binder) on the final verso. Booksellers' marks in ink and pencil on the front free-endpaper, the latter reading 1 Edn - 10/6.

Binding Late C18th half russia calf, marbled-paper boards, gilt-ruled spine and lettering.

Reference Number 3743


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