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This study explores the Stuart history play, a genre often viewed as an inferior or degenerate version of the exemplary Elizabethan dramatic form. Writing in the shadow of Marlowe and Elizabethan Shakespeare, Stuart playwrights have traditionally been evaluated through the aesthetic assumptions and political concerns of the 16th century. Ivo Kamps's study traces the development of Jacobite drama in the radically changed literary and political environment of the 17th century. He shows how historiographical developments in this period materially affected the structure of the history play. As audiences became increasingly sceptical of the comparatively simple teleological narratives of the Tudor era, a demand for new ways of staging history emerged. Kamps demonstrates how Stuart drama capitalized on this new awareness of historical narrative to undermine inherited forms of literary and political authority. The book is an attempt to account for a neglected genre, and to offer a reading of the relationship between literature, history and political power.
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