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Play 2: Hengist, King of Kent, or The Mayor of Quinborough

Thomas Middleton (1661)


Hengist, King of Kent, or The Mayor of Quinborough

Seventeenth-century texts of Hengist, King of Kent, are the quarto edition of 1661 and two manuscripts, referred to as the Lambarde and Portland manuscripts. Because the manuscripts are more authoritative (copies by the same scribe made from a prompt-book) and contain a fuller text than Q (apparently the product of some censorship), they are more suitable as copy-texts, the Lambarde being the more preferable in terms of versification of the poetry, as well as grammatical construction. Nevertheless, Q often corrects and supplies missing words for L and P (which is indicated with "om." for "omission"), and with P supplies missing words and letters where L has been severely cropped to fit its binding (which are not listed). Of the few available editions of the play, R. C. Bald's edition of 1938 is indispensable and scholarly thorough: serious work with Hengist begins there.

For his play about post-Roman Britain, Middleton drew upon Fabyan's Chronicle of 1559 and Holinshed's History of England of 1587.

Acknowledgements:

This play has been adapted for the internet by Chris Cleary. All the notes are his, and the originals (in more detail) can be found at http://www.tech.org/~cleary/hengist.html#NOTES

The original site is at http://www.tech.org/~cleary/hengist.html

His other Middleton plays are at http://www.tech.org/~cleary/middhome.html

The use of this material was gracefully allowed by Chris Cleary.

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