Talk:John Fletcher (playwright)

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Domestic partners?[edit]

Beaumont and Fletcher lived together for many years. I don't know whether they were what we'd now call gay, but they were certainly what we'd now call domestic partners. Wetman 09:27, 20 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I'd be interested to know what the evidence is. The version I'm familiar with is that they lived in a ménage à trois with the housekeeper. Such gossip isn't usually found in encyclopedias. 144.138.194.212 11:12, 21 Jan 2004 (UTC)

disambiguation?[edit]

I was initially expecting "John Fletcher" to (almost) unambiguously mean John Fletcher (Methodist), where the initial author clearly thought John Fletcher (playwright) was the most obvious target.

Google searches for John Fletcher 1579 and John Fletcher 1729 seem to give similar weight to both, suggesting that neither should be given prominence here...

Being fairly new to Wikipedia, what would be involved in moving the content of this page to John Fletcher (playwright), and making this a redirect to John Fletcher (disambiguation)? 213.232.66.5 04:05, 5 May 2005 (UTC)

I agree; the theologian is certainly as historically prominent as the playwright. A disambiguation seems to be in order. Any thoughts? KHM03 11:34, 5 May 2005 (UTC)

Authorship[edit]

It won't do to credit The Knight of the Burning Pestle as a collaboration with Fletcher, because it is completely out of line with standard scholarship. The Revels edition assigns it to Beaumont alone. The Fountainwell edition edited by Andrew Gurr assigns it to Beaumont alone. The attribution studies of Oliphant and Hoy assign it to Beaumont alone. G.K. Hunter's survey of English Drama 1586-1642 assigns it to Beaumont alone. The current Cambridge History of Early Modern English Literature assigns it to Beaumont alone. Kinney's anthology of Renaissance Drama assigns it to Beaumont alone. The Routledge Anthology of Renaissance Drama assigns it to Beaumont alone: "The Knight of the Burning Pestle was once thought to have been written jointly by Francis Beaumont and his long-term collaborator John Fletcher, but we follow recent editors, and the evidence of careful analysis of the play's stylistic cohesion, in attributing it to Beaumont alone" (232). This is where current scholarship rests, and has I think since at least the 1950s. There's not even a controversy about it that I know of. In that light, the statements about the effect of this play's failure on Fletcher's career are inappropriate here.

Well if you'd said that in the first place it would have been simpler... :) The Singing Badger 12:57, 29 July 2006 (UTC)


The Faithful Shepherdess and audience expectations[edit]

I don't understand this reference in the article's current version:

"Fletcher's early career was marked by one significant failure, of The Faithful Shepherdess, his adaptation of Giovanni Battista Guarini's Il Pastor Fido, which was performed by the Blackfriars Children in 1608. Fletcher explains this failure in his prologue to the printed edition of the play; he claimed that the audience had not understood the nature of true (that is, Italian) tragicomedy, expecting instead the kind of artless mixture of humor and action typical of such Elizabethan dramatists as Robert Greene and Thomas Nashe."

In the preface (not a prologue) to his play, Fletcher makes no mention of either Nashe or Greene, and I can't see how what he mentions can be understood as "typical" of the plays either of them wrote. His comments are specifically about the audience's crude expectations for what a tragicomical play about shepherds would be, namely they expected "a play of country-hired shepherds in gray cloaks, with curtaled dogs in strings, sometimes laughing together, and sometimes killing one another, and ... [with] whitsun ales, cream, wassail, and morris dances." What does that have to do with Greene, who wrote a generation earlier anyway? And the reference to Nashe is inexplicable, since there is only one comedy still around that can be ascribed to him, made for private not public performance, and as best I remember it's an allegorical play about the passage of summer into winter, with little if anything to do with shepherds. What can one say is a typical Nashe play anyway? There are three he's usually assigned some part of, Summer's Last Will and Testament, Dido, and Henry VI, part 1, all very different, and a fourth he's reported to have worked on, The Isle of Dogs, which was apparently a social or political satire and therefore probably not much like the other three. I'm going to change the article to dump the references to Nashe and Greene; if there are some strong reasons out there showing that Fletcher had them specifically in mind, that's one thing, but given what he actually said I think it's more likely he's thinking of something else, like a play such as Mucedorus, which IIRC features a shepherd killing somebody, or another group of plays entirely that were too crude to ever be published. However, until this Wiki article I'd never seen any concrete suggestions made for what he was referring to, and I don't believe the ones currently made here. Eupolis 16:10, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

Date of revision of Rollo[edit]

The article gives the date of Fletcher's death as 1625, but also credits him with a revision of Rollo around 1630: "Rollo Duke of Normandy was written by Ben Jonson and George Chapman around 1617, and revised by Fletcher and Massinger around 1630." Can anyone clarify this? --estmere 20:04, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Rollo date[edit]

Good point! I re-checked a couple of sources (which are rather confused on the subject) and re-phrased the sentence for greater clarity and accuracy. See what you think. Ugajin 23:09, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Not Elizabethan[edit]

The sentence referring to Fletcher as a transitional figure between Elizabethan and Restoration theatre needs revision. I cannot think of an "Elizabethan" Fletcher play, strictly speaking. His output ocurred mostly, if not entirley, during the Jacobean period and his works are characteristically Jacobean. Could we perhaps replace the misleadingly vague adjective "Elizabethan" with the term "Early Modern"? 71.254.75.3 17:30, 6 August 2007 (UTC)Patrick Bentley