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'TisPityShe'sAWhore

byLisaHopkins

Introduction
LisaHopkins
Fordhasalwaysbeenadifficultwritertocategorize,eludingorstraddlingavarietyof
differentpossibleclassificatorymodels.Inthefirstplace,heisadifficultwritertopindown
chronologically.Bornin1586,heisinsomesenseanElizabethanhewasalmost17
whenthequeendied,andhadalreadymovedtoLondonbutanunusuallylatestart
meansthatallofhissurvivingindependentdramaticwritingseemstobefirmlyCaroline,
afteraperiodofcollaborativeauthorshipduringthereignofJames.Nevertheless,though
theeightsurvivingplayswhichhavebeenmoreorlesssecurelyascribedtohimseem
probablyalltohavebeenwrittenafter1625,itcouldreasonablybesaidthattheyarenot
Carolineinfeel,sincetheyalltoagreaterorlesserextentharkbacktoaconsiderably
oldermodelormodelsofdrama.PerkinWarbeckinparticularisapositivethrowback,a
lateandsolitaryfloweringoftheoncemightyandvigorousgrowthoftheElizabethan
historyplay,anditisliberalinitsglancesbackatMarlowesEdwardIIandShakespeares
RichardII,writtenfourdecadesbefore.NotfornothingisPerkinWarbeckdedicatedto
WilliamCavendish,EarlofNewcastleandpatronofJonsonandBrome,whoseownplay
TheVarietyhasahero,Manly,whoexpresseshisnostalgiaforabygoneagebydressing
astheElizabethanEarlofLeicester.
OthersofFordsplaysharkbackinsimilarfashion,ifnotalwaystothesamedegree.Both
LovesSacrificeandTheLadysTrialconsciouslyrevisitOthello:inLovesSacrifice,the
twististhattheDedesemonafigure,Biancha,didactuallylovetheCassiofigure,though
sheisnotguiltyofactualinfidelitywithhim,andinTheLadysTrialitisthattheIagofigure,
Aurelio,isgenuinelymistaken, oratleastselfdeluded,andreallydidbelievethe
Desdemonafiguretobeunfaithful,whiletheOthellofigure,Auria,choosestohearand
accepthiswifesexplanationofherinnocenceandsuccessfullyarrangesahappyending,
completewithmultiplemarriages.TheLoversMelancholy,withitsmadfatherandcross
dressingdaughter,combinesechoesofKingLearandTwelfthNightTheFancies,Chaste
andNoblerecallsaspectsofWomenBewareWomenandTheQueen,whichdoesnot
bearFordsnameonthetitlepagebutisnowgenerallyacceptedashis,isanotherplayto
payhomagetoOthelloandalso,asLeselDawsonhasrecentlyargued,seemsto
remembertheEssexRebellion,[1]whichbythetimeFordwrotehadtakenplacenearly40
yearsearlier.TheBrokenHeart,meanwhile,revisitsboththelovestoryofSirPhilipSidney,
deadsince1586,[2]and,asVernaAnnFosterandStephenFosterhaveconvincingly
argued,theaccessionofJamesIin1603.[3]
IndeedsoextensiveisFordsengagementwitholderplaysthathecouldinsomesense
justlybetermedanearlycriticofRenaissancedrama,particularlyofShakespeare,whose
playsherevisitsandreworksalmostobsessively.Hisspecialfavouritesareclearly
identifiable,anditisinstructivetonotebothwhathetakesfromthemandalsowhathe
doesnot.KingLearclearlyliesbehindthefather/daughterrelationshipsofTheLovers
Melancholy,butTheLoversMelancholyhasnotraceofthebattleonwhichthefateof
nationsdepends,and,unusuallyforRenaissancedrama,nointeresteitherinbastardyor
itspossibleeffectoncharacters.OthelloliesbehindLovesSacrifice,TheLadysTrialand
perhapsthejealousysceneofTisPity,butitissolelythelovestoryandtheaccompanying
jealousywhichfiresFordsimaginationheshowsnointerestatallintheethnicdifference
ofOthellofromthosearoundhim,andwhenhewritesabouthumanbodiesitisonlyever
aboutwhatisinsidethem,neveraboutskincolour.Thesedifferenceshelpustoseethat
Fordsfocusislove,notsociety,whichindeedtendstoexistonlyasaframeforhuman

Fordsfocusislove,notsociety,whichindeedtendstoexistonlyasaframeforhuman
activity,edgingandconstrainingitinwayswhicharealwayspotentiallyunhelpfuland
sometimesactuallyso.Fordsgreatuncle,LordChiefJusticePopham,rubbedshoulders
withsomeofthemostfamousnamesoftheperiod,andFordhimselfdedicatedhisworks
toanumberofaristocratsofvaryingdegreesofpowerandinfluence,butthispublicsphere
isnotwherehisrealinterestlies:heisineverysenseadramatistoftheheart,and
TisPityisperhapsthesupremeexampleofthat.
TisPityShesaWhoreitselfisshapedandconditionedbyanumberofpreviousplays.
Mostobviously,itlooksbackatRomeo andJuliet.RomeoandJulietareyoung,idealistic
loverseachisclearlythebestpossiblepartnerthattheirsocietyhastoofferfortheother,
butthefeudbetweentheirfamiliesmeansthattheirunionistooradicallyexogamousfor
thesmallItaliancityinwhichtheylive.AnnabellaandGiovanniareyoung,idealisticlovers
eachisclearlythebestpossiblepartnerthattheirsocietyhastoofferfortheother,butthe
factthattheyarebrotherandsistermeansthattheirunionistooradicallyendogamousfor
thesmallItaliancityinwhichtheyliveeventhoughthatcity,Parma,hadhistorically
beenruledbymembersoftheHabsburgfamily,whousedintermarriagebetweenuncles
andniecesasapoliticaltool.Moreover,likeRomeoandJuliet,AnnabellaandGiovanni
turnforadvicetoafriarandanurse,andBergettosdeathisnotunlikeMercutios.

TisPityShesaWhoreisalsoinfluencedbyotherplays.LikethelaterTheFancies,
ChasteandNoble,itclearlyresemblesMiddletonsWomenBewareWomen,whosesub
plotofanincestuousrelationshipbetweenIsabellaandheruncleHippolitoisclosely
echoedinTisPitysincestuousrelationshipbetweenAnnabellaandherbrotherGiovanni,
withthefoolishWardandhissidekickSordidoinWomenBewareWomenalso
foreshadowingthefoolishBergettoandhissidekickPoggioinTisPity.AsCyrusHoy
pointedoutlongago,FordalsoseemstobethinkingofMarlowe,sinceGiovannistartsthe
playsoundinglikeFaustusandendsitsoundinglikeTamburlaine,[4]andthatissomethingI
explorefurtherinmyownchapterinthisvolume.
IthinkitisalsoworthconsideringthepossibilitythatTisPitywasalsoinfluencedby
anotherShakespeareplaywhichhasstrongintertextualconnectionswithRomeoand
Juliet:AMidsummerNightsDream.Atfirstsight,thismayseemaridiculoussuggestion,
sincethetwoplaysaresodifferentfromeachother.However,AMidsummerNightsDream
seemstohavebeenaplayinwhichFordwasinterested,andwhich,moreover,he
associatedwithRomeoandJuliet,sinceHuntlyinPerkinWarbeckspeaksscornfullyofhis
daughterandsoninlawasKingOberonandQueenMab.[5]Theperceptionofa
connectionisspoton,sinceRomeoandJulietandAMidsummerNightsDreamare,
indeed,linked.QuincesinsistencethattherewillbeaprologuetoPyramusandThisbe
andthatitshallbewrittenineightandsix[6]recallsthe14linePrologueofRomeoand
Julietandthesonnetwhichtheloverscompletebetweenthemwhentheyfirstmeet,and
theplaywithintheplay,withitstragiclittletaleofPyramusandThisbe,couldalmostbe
seenasaknowingglancebackatRomeoandJuliet,insomethingofthesamespiritas
MozartinDonGiovannihavinghisherodismissatune fromTheMarriageofFigaroonthe
groundsthathehashearditbefore.AMidsummerNightsDreamtakesustoAthens,
representedinTheBrokenHeartasahomeoflearningandsomethingofadistantdream
forSpartaboundOrgilusitpitscityagainstwood,withthelatterrepresentedassalvific,
whileTisPitymakesapointofbeingconfinedtothecityandtherearealso,asIdiscuss
inChapter8,othercorrespondencesbetweenthetwoplays.Anaudiencewould,ofcourse,
beatlibertytoignorethisiftheywishedthevisceralratherthanculturallyspecificnature
oftheincesttaboomeansthattheplayisreadilycomprehensibletoaudienceswhohave
norecollectionofAMidsummerNightsDreamorRomeoandJulietbutawarenessof
suchparallelscansignificantlyinflecttheresponsesofthosewhodospotthem.TisPity,
then,isaplayradicallyconstitutedbythedramaofFordsyouthandearlymanhood,
meaningthatitcannotreadilybepigeonholedasCaroline.
Moreover,thedateofTisPityisinanycasemysterious.Itissometimessuggestedthat
becauseTheBrokenHeartandTheLoversMelancholywereBlackfriarsplays,whileall
Fordsotherextant,independentworkswereactedbyChristopherBeestonscompaniesat
thePhoenix,itthereforeseemslikelythatTheBrokenHeartandTheLoversMelancholy
werethefirstofFordsindependentplays,atheorywhichseemstobesupportedbythe
indisputablefactthatTheLoversMelancholywasthefirstoftheplaystobepublished,in
1628.ThusRonaldHuebertstatesconfidentlythatFordsearlyassociationwiththeKings
mencomestoanendin1630,afterwhichhecontributeshisremainingplaystothe
repertoireofQueenHenriettaMariascompany[7](thoughFordslastknownplayThe

LadysTrialwasinfactactednotbytheQueensMenbutbyBeestonsBoys).Irving
Ribner,[8]G.F.Sensabaugh,[9]H.J.Oliver,[10]UnaEllisFermor,[11]KennethMuir,[12]
DonatellaRavignani[13]andR.F.Hill[14]allplaceTheLoversMelancholyfirstintheorder
ofcomposition,asBawcuttisalsocautiouslyinclinedtodo.[15]T.J.B.Spencer,however,
thoughtthattheevidencewasinconclusive,[16]andthereisapeculiarlypuzzlingstatement
inFordsdedicatoryepistletoTisPityShesaWhore,addressedtotheEarlof
Peterborough,whichappearstosomecriticstoconflictsharplywiththetheorythatThe
LoversMelancholyistheearliestoftheplays.ThereFordreferstoTisPityasthesefirst
fruitsofmyleisure.Whetherheisspeakingofaparticularperiodofleisure,suchasoneof
theholidaysbetweenlawterms,orwhetherheissayingthatthisishisfirstplaywhether
heisinfacteventellingusthatitpredatesTheWitchofEdmonton,hisfirst collaborative
playtherecanbenowayofknowing.Partlybecauseofthisstrangestatementand
partlybecauseofitsvigour,itsstyleanditsextraordinarilyJacobeancharacter,TisPityis
themainrivalofTheLoversMelancholyforthetitleofFordsfirstindependentplay.Leech
remarksthatitislikelythatTisPitywasoneofhisearliestindependentplays,andlater
addsthatitisindeedperhapsthefirstthathewroteindependently.[17]DerekRoper,inhis
editionoftheplay,seemsinclinedtoconsideritasFordsearliestindependentdrama.He
evenputsforwardthetantalizingsuggestionthatTisPitymayhavebeenwrittenat
virtuallyanydatebefore1633,or,ifRossetisacceptedasasource,between1613and
1633.ItmayquiteeasilyhavebeenaJacobeanplayinfactaswellasinspirit.[18]Gamini
SalgadoalsoremarksthatTisPitymaydatefromanytimebetween1615and1633,[19]
andE.H.C.OliphantsuggeststhatbothTisPityandLovesSacrificewereconsiderably
earlierindatethan1621.[20]Bawcutt,however,inhisintroductiontotheplay,pointsout
thatthetitlepage[]statesthatitwasActedbytheQueenesMaiestiesServants,atthe
PhoenixinDruryLane.Thissuggeststhatthefirstperformancetookplacebetween1626,
whentheQueensCompanycameintobeing,and1633,thedateofpublication.[21]
Nevertheless,F.S.BoasfeelsthatTisPityisatleastearlierthanTheBrokenHeart,[22]
andifitprecedesTheBrokenHeartthenweareleftwithnoreasonwhyitshouldnotalso
precedeTheLoversMelancholy,sincewearenolongersupposingthatFordwrotefirstfor
theBlackfriarsandthenforthePhoenix.H.W.WellsputsforwardatentativedatingofTis
Pityto1627,TheLoversMelancholyandTheQueento1628,TheBrokenHeartto1629
andPerkinWarbeckto1633,[23]andFelixSchellingratherlesstentativelyoffersexactlythe
samedatesandsequencebutomitsanymentionofTheQueen.[24]Finally,RobertDavril
proposes162627forTisPity,prcdantdepeuLovesSacrifice(162728)(predating
LovesSacrificebyalittletime),162830forTheQueenandthenowlostBeautyina
Trance,163032forTheBrokenHeart,and163334forPerkinWarbeck.[25]
IfFordisdifficulttopindowninchronologicalterms,healsoposesproblemswhenit
comestoquestionsofgenericclassification.PerkinWarbeckisclearlyahistoryplay,and
TheBrokenHeartandLovesSacrificearecertainlytragedies,buthisotherplaysaremore
difficulttocategorize.TheLoversMelancholyisperhapsbestdescribedasamelancholy
comedy,whilebothTheLadysTrialandTheFancies,ChasteandNoblereadratherlike
twoseparateplays,withanintrusiveandunsatisfactorycomicsubplotgraftedineach
caseontoamainplotwhichiscomicinstructurebutelegiacintone andfeel.AsforTis
Pity,it,likeitsmodelsRomeoandJuliet,DrFaustusandWomenBewareWomen,is
obviouslyatragedy,butitmightwellseemmoreprofitabletoconsiderit,likeFordsearlier,
collaborativeplayTheWitchofEdmonton,underthespecificrubricofdomestictragedy,a
genreseparatedfromrevengetragedyortragedyofstatebythefactthatitsmain
charactersareprivatecitizensratherthanrulersandthattheconsequencesofitsevents
arethusconfinedtotheprivateratherthanthepublicsphere.Certainlythiswouldseemto
bepartofthepointofHippolitasdismissalofAnnabellaasYourgoodlyMadamMerchant
(II.ii.49),asVernaAnnFosterexploresinherilluminatingarticleTisPityShesaWhoreas
CityTragedy.[26]IhavesuggestedinmyownarticleIncestandClass:TisPityShesa
WhoreandtheBorgiasthatweshoulddefinitelynoticethatincesthassometimesbeen
toleratedinrulingfamiliesinawaythatitneverhasinbourgeoisones.[27]Itdoesnotdoto
forgetclasswhenreadingTisPity:thisistragedyasthestudyofthespecificratherthanof
thearguablyuniversal,andindeedCorinneS.AbatearguesinChapter5thatitisthetown
ofParmaitselfwhichistherealwhoreoftheplay.
Despitehisdebtstootherauthors,however,Fordbrokenewgroundinhistreatmentof
incest.Thiswasasubjectinwhichhewasstronglyinterested,asevidencedbythefact
thatmentionofitsurfacesalsoinTheBrokenHeart,whenBassanessupposestheworst
ofIthoclessdesiretobealonewithhissisterPenthea.Infact,therehadusuallybeenan
innocentexplanationofincestintheplaysprecedingFord.Incestbeginstobecome
increasinglyimportantasasubjectfordramaduringtheearlydecadesoftheseventeenth

century.ItcanbeseenasearlyasShakespeareandWilkinssPericles,whereitisthe
explanationoftheriddleinvolvingthekingandhisdaughter,anditalsoappearsin
BeaumontandFletchersAKingandNoKing,butthere,andinMiddletonsNoWit,No
HelpLikeaWomans,thethreatisdefusedatthelastmomentwhenoneofthesupposed
siblingsisrevealedtohavebeenswappedinthecradle.ItcomesstillcloserinWomen
BewareWomen,buteventheretheniece,Isabella,istrickedintosleepingwithheruncle
HippolitowhenheraunttellsherthatHippolitosbrotherwasnotinfactherbiological
father.InTisPity,though,thereisnoescape,andnopossiblesalvefortheconscience:
here,twopeoplewhorightlybelievethattheyarebrotherandsistervoluntarilychooseto
sleeptogether.
WhatmotivatedFordtorepresentsostarkaviolationofthetabooagainstincest?Thishas
beenthecentralquestionaroundwhichdiscussionsofTisPityhaverevolved,butno
definitiveanswerhas everbeenoffered.Itdoesseemclearthatanarrativeofincest
allowedFordtoraisequestionsofclass,andalsoofferedexcellentscopeforfurtherplay
onthetwintermsofheartandblood,inwhichheshowedhimselfobsessivelyinterested
throughouthiscareer,andwhicharefurtherinflectedherebysustainedexplorationofthe
meaningandresonancesoftheverbtoknowanditscognates.Fordisclearlyalsonot
aversetothesheerforceofthegutreactionwhichthementionofincestprovokesinmost
people.Nevertheless,thatvisceralhorrorisnotquiteauniversalemotion:in2007theUK
pressreportedonaGermanbrotherandsisterwhowerechallengingthelawagainstincest
inthatcountry,notingthatNapoleonabolishedFrancesincestlawsin1810.Neitherisita
crimeintheNetherlands,Luxembourg,Belgium,PortugalorTurkey.Japan,Argentinaand
Brazilhavealsolegaliseditinrecentyears.[28]AsKateWilkinsondiscussesinheraccount
oftheplayinperformance(Chapter2),theacceptabilityofincestbetweenbrotherand
sisterisalsoexploredinthepopularUKtelevisioncrimeseriesMidsomerMurders,inways
whichareobviouslyinfluencedbyTisPity.Perhapsourfascinationwiththetopicof
brothersisterincestinparticulararisespartlyfromthefactthatthereisnotnecessarilyany
inbuiltpowerrelationshipbetweenbrotherandsisterasthereisbetweenfatherand
daughter,andtheavailabilityofmodernmethodsofcontraceptionremovesthecompelling
geneticlogicagainstincest.Moreover,modernresearchhasbroughttoourattentionthe
phenomenonknownasgeneticsexualattraction,wherebybloodrelativeswhohavelong
beenseparatedmay,whentheymeet,misinterpretthesenseofrecognitiontheyfeelasa
feelingofsexualattractionandthisisaparadigmwhichmightwellseemapplicableto
TisPity,whereAnnabellasfirstquestionwhensheseesherbrother,whohasbeenaway
studyinginBologna,isWhatmanishe,thatwithsuchsadaspect|Walkscarelessof
himself?(I.ii.13334).AtacrucialmomentofTisPity,thepursuitofBergettosmurderer
isbroughttoanabrupthaltwhentheWatchfindthemselvesbroughtupshortintheliminal
spacewherecivicpowerendsandtheCardinalsbegins.Insomesense,thisemblematic
borderbetweenthesecularandthespiritualcanstandfortheexperienceofferedbythe
playasawhole:asaudiences,wefindourselvescollectivelyatseaintheuneasyliminality
whereconventionandrationalityhavesaidalltheycanandthedimmervoiceofthetaboo
beginsinsistentlytomakeitselfheard.
HoweveruncertainFordsintention,therecanbenodoubtaboutthedegreeofhiscare
andpersistenceincarryingitout:DerekRoperobservesthat

theappearanceofthequartosuggeststhatitwasprintedfromafaircopymade
byFordsownhand,oratleastunderhisclosesupervision.Thechiefevidence
forthisisalavishuseofitalictypewhichisnotcharacteristicofOkessprinting
butwhichisfoundinmostofFordsotherplays.[29]

MarkHoulahanandCorinneS.Abatebothexploresomeoftheeffectsofthisintheir
chaptersinthisvolume(Chapters7and5).Fordseemsgenerallytohaveseenhisplays
carefullythroughthepress,andTisPityisnoexception:hecaredaboutbringingusthis
playtoread,andindoingwhathecouldbymeansofpointingandtypefacetoguideour
responsetoit.
Whatthenarewetodowiththistext,sotroublinglyuncertaininintentandeffectbutso
preciseinexecution?TherecanbenodoubtthatTisPityisaneminentlyteachabletext.It
wouldbedifficulttohavenoreactionatalltotheideaofincest,anddifficulttootoreadthe

play,watchthePatroniGriffifilm,andthennothaveaviewonthewaythattheonerelates
totheother.Inaddition,TisPityisnotablyversatile,makingagoodpairingwithanumber
ofotherplaysincludingnotonlyRomeoandJulietandWomenBewareWomen,butpretty
muchanytragedyofstateorcitycomedy.
Theplayalsospeakstoarangeofissues.Inthefirstplace,sincethepublicationof
JonathanSawdaysseminalbookTheBodyEmblazonedin1995,criticsofRenaissance
dramahavebeenincreasinglyalerttotheimportanceandfarreachingimplicationsofthe
Renaissanceinterestinanatomy,especiallysinceSawdayobservesthat[t]hewombor
uteruswasanobjectsoughtafterwithanalmostferociousintensityinRenaissance
anatomytheatres,[30]sothatwhatGiovannidoestohissistercanbeseenastouchingon
anissueofacuteinterestintheperiod.ThusinKingLearthemaddenedkingcries,Then
letthemanatomizeRegan,seewhatbreedsaboutherheart.Isthereanycauseinnature
thatmakesthesehardhearts?,[31]whileinChettlesTheTragedyofHoffmanLorrique
declaresThisisHannceHoffmanssonne|thatstoledownehisfathersAnotamyfromthe
gallowesatLeningberge.[32]
ItistruethatforHoffmananatomyappearstobeeffectivelyequivalenttoskeleton,aswe
seewhenLorriquetellsDuchessMarthathat
PrinceCharlesandIecaptthewracke,
Camesafeashoretothisaccursedplot,
WherewemetHoffman,whovponyontree
Preserudhisfathersbareanatomy,
Thebiggestofthemtwowerethosestrongbones
Thatactedmightydeeds.
(I3r)

However,Lorriquesfurtherwordsmakeitplainthatsomethingofourmodernsenseofan
interestinanatomyispresentheretoo:
Atlengthhetookeaduantage,boundmyLord,
Andinachaynetyedhimtoyonderrocke,
WhilewithaburningCrowneheseardintwaine
ThepurpleVeynes,strongsinewes,arteries,[n]erues,
Andeuerycartilageaboutthehead.
(I3v)
Finally,ClaridianainTheInstatiateCountess,finishedbyWilliamBarkstedandLewis
MachinfromaninitialdraftbyMarston,tellshiswife,IhadratherChirurgeonsHallshould
begmydeadbodyforananatomythanthoubegmylife.[33]
InTisPity,Fordsobsessiveuseofthewordsheartandblood,onwhichsomanycritics
haveremarked,[34]clearlypointstoaninterestintheinteriorofthebody,andGiovannihas
beenstudyingatBologna(I.i.49),whichwasfamousasacentreforthestudyofanatomy,
somethingwhichsurelybearsonhisJacktheRipperlikedecisiontomakePetrarchan
metaphorliteralbycuttingoutAnnabellasheart.[35](Itisoneoftheplaysmanyironiesthat
theFriar,emblemofthespiritualapproachtothehumancondition,eventuallyreturnsto
Bologna,homeofamorephysicalizedunderstandingofit[V.iii.6667].)AsMichaelNeill
pointsout,Giovannisactionmayinfactrecallanactualanatomicalenquiry,the
postmortemexaminationofthebodyofElizabethsMaidofHonourMargaretRatcliffe.[36]
However,italsoreflectsamoregeneralinterestinthesubject,whichwasfedbythe
publicationofWilliamHarveysExercitatioanatomicademotucordisetsanguinisin
animalibusin1628,announcinghisdiscoveryoftheroleoftheheartinthecirculationof
theblood,whichopenedupwiderquestionsabouttherelationshipbetweenbody,mind
andsoul.InherchapteronTheStateoftheArtinthisvolume(Chapter3)SandraClark
notestheimpactthatthenewinterestinanatomyhashadonFordcriticism,andCatherine
SilverstoneandMarkHoulahanbothtakethisastepfurtherintheircontributions(Chapters
4and7).IndeedinallFordsplaysthereisadangerouspotentialseparabilitybetween
differentpartsofthebody,which seemdisturbinglycapableofindependentaction.Where
thendoesthisleavetheverydifferentformsofknowledgeandunderstandingofthe
relationshipbetweenthesoulandthebodyemblematizedbyFriarBonaventure,whom
FordhasnamedaftertheFranciscantheologianknownastheSeraphicDoctor,authorof
theLignumVitae,whosetitleseemstobepunninglyglancedatinFordsownneoStoical
tractALineofLife?

10

ThisquestionmapsontoanothergrowthareaincriticismofEnglishRenaissancedrama,
whichisagrowinginterestinthesurvivalofprohibitedCatholicbeliefsandpracticesinan
EnglandwhichwasnowofficiallyProtestant.Inevitably,this,likeallotheraspectsof
Renaissancecriticism,hascentredonthefigureofShakespeare.Eversincethe
publicationofErnstHonigmannsShakespeare:TheLostYearsin1985,therehasbeen
sustainedinterestinspeculatingeitherthatShakespearedidindeedspendsometimein
hisyouthatHoghtonHallinLancashire,wherehewouldhavebeenlivingamong
recusants,orthathewasforotherreasonswelldisposedtoCatholicism.Theindefatigable
workofRichardWilsoninparticularhasexploredallthepossibleCatholiclinksof
Shakespearesfamilyandfriendsandthewaysinwhichthesemayimpactonreadingsof
hisplays.However,otherwritershavealsoreceivedattentionfromcriticsinterestedinthis
area.BenJonsonswellknownCatholicism,forinstance,hasattractedrenewedinterest,
withthepublicationin1999ofadoubleissueoftheBenJonsonJournalonthetopicof
JonsonandCatholicism,andafreshflurryofinquiryintothepossibleidentityofthe
CatholicpriestwhowasknowntoJonsonandwasapparentlyabletosupplydetailsofthe
GunpowderPlot.[37]AsSandraClarkexploresinherchapterontheStateoftheArt,since
myownworkin1994suggestinglinksbetweenFordandCatholicism,Fordtoohasbeen
approachedinsuchtermsby,forinstance,LaurelAmtower[38]andalso,inthisvolume,by
GillianWoods(Chapter6).TisPitywasdedicatedtoJohnMordaunt,whohadbeenat
courtmostofhislifeandwhohadbeencreatedEarlofPeterboroughin1628.Mordaunt
wasthesonofHenry,fourthLordMordaunt,whohadbeenimprisonedintheToweron
suspicionofcomplicityintheGunpowderPlot,althoughonlyforayearhismotherwas
Margaret,thedaughterofHenry,LordCompton,andshewasastaunchCatholicindeed
in1625theheadoftheEnglishmissionwasoperatingfromherhouseandforthis
reasonshewasdeprivedofthecustodyofherson,who,alsoin1625,wasconvertedto
Protestantism.Hisconversiondoesnotseemtohavebeentakenveryseriously,however,
forhisnameisincludedinthePetitionAgainstRecusantsinAuthoritydrawnupby
Parliamentin1626,[39]soCatholicismdoesseemtobeapotentiallyrelevantcontextfor
considerationofTisPityShesaWhore.Thuswecanseethatthoughwemayneverbe
abletoanswerthequestionofwhatFordmeantbyadiscussionofincestwhichdisturbsus
bybeingsostrangelypassionateanddispassionateatthesametime,discussionofthe
questionisinfinitelyinteresting,andbearsonanumberofquestionsofgreatinterestto
bothhisageandourown.Itisthosequestionswhichthisvolumeaimstoexplore.

11

Weopenwithanaccountoftheplayscriticalbackstory,offeringthehighlightsin
scholarshiprelatingtothetextsincetheseventeenthcentury.TherethenfollowsKate
Wilkinsonsaccountoftheperformancehistoryoftheplayafteritreemergedfrom
obscurityinaheavilyadaptedversionin1894,followedbySandraClarksbroadoverview
ofrecentcriticalresearchontheplay.Therethenfollowfivechaptersoffreshresearch
designedtodevelopanewhorizonofinquiryforthereader.Inthefirstofthese,Catherine
SilverstonediscussesFordanddesireinFatalAttraction:Desire,AnatomyandDeathin
TisPityShesaWhoreinthesecond,CorinneS.Abate,inIdentifyingtheRealWhoreof
ParmaconsidersFordandgenderinthethird,GillianWoodsdiscussesFordand
CatholicisminTheConfessionalIdentitiesofTisPityShesaWhoreinthefourthMark
HoulahandiscussesTheDeconstructingTisPity?:Derrida,BarthesandFordandthe
lastofthefiveismyownTisPityShesaWhoreandtheSpaceoftheStage,which
discussesFordsrepresentationofsocialandcivicspaceandconsidersitsimplications.
Finally,RhondaLemkeSanfordplacesthetextintheuniversityclassroom,reflecting
examplesofthewaysinwhichinstitutionsintegrateitintotheirsyllabiandreviewingthe
existingresourcesavailable.Thischapteralsooffersacriticalbibliographytothosereaders
wishingtotaketheirresearchfurtheronthevolumesselectedplay.
1.LeselDawson,DangerousMisogyny:JohnFordsTheQueenandtheEarlofEssexs1601Uprising,
13
12
ExplorationsinRenaissanceCulture33.1(2007),pp.6482.
2.SeeStuartP.Sherman,StellaandTheBrokenHeart,PMLA24.2(1909),pp.27485.
3.VernaAnnFosterandStephenFoster,StructureandHistoryinTheBrokenHeart:Sparta,England,andthe
Truth,EnglishLiteraryRenaissance18.2(spring1988),pp.30528.
4.CyrusHoy,IgnoranceinKnowledge:MarlowesFaustusandFordsGiovanni,ModernPhilology57(1960),
pp.14554.
5.JohnFord,TheChronicleHistoryofPerkinWarbeck,ed.PeterUre(Manchester:ManchesterUniversityPress,
1968),III.ii.11.
6.WilliamShakespeare,AMidsummerNightsDream,ed.HaroldF.Brooks(London:Methuen,1979),III.i.2223.
7.RonaldHuebert,JohnFord:BaroqueEnglishDramatist(Montreal:McGillQueensUniversityPress,1977),pp.
18283.
8.IrvingRibner,JacobeanTragedy:TheQuestforMoralOrder(NewYork:Barnes&Noble,1962),p.155.

9.G.F.Sensabaugh,JohnFordandPlatonicLoveintheCourt,StudiesinPhilology36(1939),pp.20626,p.
220.
10.H.J.Oliver,TheProblemofJohnFord(Melbourne:MelbourneUniversityPress,1955),p.48.
11.UnaEllisFermor,TheJacobeanDrama:AnInterpretation(London:Methuen,1936),p.229.
12.KennethMuir,TheCaseofJohnFord,SewaneeReview84(1976),pp.61429.
13.DonatellaRavignani,FordeBurton:RiesamediunRapporto,EnglishMiscellany17(1966),pp.21147,p.
211.
14.JohnFord,TheLoversMelancholy,ed.R.F.Hill(Manchester:ManchesterUniversityPress,1985),p.3.
15.JohnFord,TisPityShesaWhore,ed.N.W.Bawcutt(Nebraska:RegentsRenaissanceDrama,1966),
Introduction,p.xvii.
16.JohnFord,TheBrokenHeart,ed.T.J.B.Spencer(Manchester:ManchesterUniversityPress,1980),
Introduction,p.49.
17.CliffordLeech,JohnFordandtheDramaofhisTime(London:Chatto,1957),pp.37,49.
18.JohnFord,TisPityShesaWhore,ed.DerekRoper(Manchester:ManchesterUniversityPress,1975),
Introduction,p.xxiv.
19.GaminiSalgado,EnglishDrama:ACriticalIntroduction(London:EdwardArnold,1980),p.127.
20.E.H.C.Oliphant,ThePlaysofBeaumontandFletcher:AnAttempttoDeterminetheirRespectiveSharesand
ThoseofOthers(NewHaven,CT:YaleUniversityPress,1927),p.89.
21.JohnFord,TisPityShesAWhore,ed.N.W.Bawcutt,p.xi.
22.F.S.Boas,AnIntroductiontoStuartDrama(Oxford:OxfordUniversityPress,1946),p.345.
23.H.W.Wells,ElizabethanandJacobeanPlaywrights(NewYork:ColumbiaUniversityPress,1939),
Supplement,p.13.
24.FelixE.Schelling,ElizabethanPlaywrights:AShortHistoryoftheEnglishDramafromMediaevalTimestothe
ClosingoftheTheatresin1642(NewYork:Harper&Brothers,1925),p.314.
25.RobertDavril,LeDramedeJohnFord(Paris:Didier,1934),p.71.
26.VernaFoster,TisPityShesaWhoreasCityTragedy,inJohnFord:CriticalReVisions,ed.MichaelNeill
(Cambridge:CambridgeUniversityPress,1988),pp.181200,p.185.
27.IncestandClass:TisPityShesaWhoreandtheBorgias,inIncestandtheLiteraryImagination,ed.
ElizabethBarnes(Gainesville,FL:UniversityPressofFlorida,2002),pp.94113.
28.KateConnolly,BrotherandSisterFightGermanysIncestLaws,TheGuardian,27February2007,p.17.
29.JohnFord,TisPityShesaWhore,ed.DerekRoper,Introduction,p.lxiii.
30.JonathanSawday,TheBodyEmblazoned:DissectionandtheHumanBodyinRenaissanceCulture(London:
Routledge,1995),p.222.
31.WilliamShakespeare,KingLear,ed.KennethMuir(London:Methuen,1972),III.vi.7476.
32.HenryChettle,TheTragedyofHoffman(London,1631),B2v.
33.WilliamBarkstedandLewisMachinfromadraftbyJohnMarston,TheInsatiateCountess,inFourJacobean
SexTragedies,ed.MartinWiggins(Oxford:OxfordUniversityPress,1998),V.ii.4748andV.ii.7880.Allfurther
quotationsfromtheplaywillbetakenfromthiseditionandreferencewillbegiveninthetext.
34.SeeforinstanceDenisGauer,HeartandBlood:NatureandCultureinTisPityShesaWhore,Cahiers
Elisabethains31(1983),pp.4557,andTerriClerico,ThePoliticsofBlood:JohnFordsTisPityShesaWhore,
EnglishLiteraryRenaissance22(1992),pp.40534.
35.Forcommentonthis,seeChristianBilling,ModellingtheAnatomyTheatreandtheIndoorHallTheatre:
DissectionontheStagesofEarlyModernLondon,EarlyModernLiteraryStudiesspecialissue13(April2004),
online:http://extra.shu.ac.uk/emls/si13/billing/index.htm,andSusanJ.Wiseman,TisPityShesaWhore:
RepresentingtheIncestuousBody,inRenaissanceBodies:TheHumanFigureinEnglishCulturec.15401660,
ed.LucyGentandNigelLlewellyn(London:ReaktionBooks,1990),pp.180197,pp.18182.
36.MichaelNeill,Whatstrangeriddlesthis?:DecipheringTisPityShesaWhore,inJohnFord:CriticalRe
Visions,ed.MichaelNeill(Cambridge:CambridgeUniversityPress,1988),pp.15379,pp.15557.
37.SeeforinstanceFrancesTeague,JonsonandtheGunpowderPlot,BenJonsonJournal5(1998),pp.24952,
andPatrickMartinandJohnFinnis,AGunpowderPriest?BenedicamdominumBenJonsonsStrange1605
Inscription,TheTimesLiterarySupplement,4November2005,pp.1213.
38.LaurelAmtower,ThisIdolThouAdorst:TheIconographyofTisPityShesaWhore,PapersonLanguage
andLiterature34.2(1998),pp.179206.
39.M.J.Havran,TheCatholicsinCarolineEngland(Stanford,CA:StanfordUniversityPress,1962),pp.83,64.
LisaHopkinsandcontributors2010
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