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The Shoemakers' Holiday : Arden Early Modern Drama - Thomas Dekker

The Shoemakers' Holiday

By: Thomas Dekker, James Loxley (Editor)

Hardcover | 22 August 2024

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Thomas Dekker's singular comic drama, The Shoemakers' Holiday moves through the urban landscape of 16th century apprenticeships and artisan production in this tale of thwarted marriages and class division. Simon Eyre and his rags to riches journey to becoming the city's Lord Mayor embroils a host of lively characters who find themselves in the generative setting of the shoemakers' workshop. Whether it be Roland Lacy, who abandons his military duties under the guise of a Dutch shoemaker to stay close to Rose Oatley, his love interest, or Ralph Damport, a journeyman shoemaker, who cannot escape conscription and finds himself separated from his wife Jane with the appearance of an elusive shoe providing the only chance of reunion. Dekker's comedy focuses on the early modern tensions between urban artisans, wealthy merchants and the landed aristocracy. Through these relationships he explores gender, immigration and disability, mixing acute social commentary within the promise of festive escape and transformation.

This edition offers readers a clear, accessible, fully annotated text, with a comprehensive introduction that covers research on class, comedy, the figure of the stranger and representations of disability. It also explores the ways in which the play's intertwining preoccupations with love, labour and war are shaped by the city in which it was written, providing insight into urban life at the end of the Tudor era.

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