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Sir Thomas More


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A play based on Hall's Chronicle and biographies of More, surviving in an incomplete transcript with additions in various hands which was submitted to Sir Edmund Tilney, Master of the Revels, probably about 1593. The scribe, Munday, is likely to have been at least part‐author of the original play. Tilney required major changes before granting permission to perform. The revisions (which may date from 1593–4 or 1603–4) are in five different hands, probably including those of Chettle, Heywood, Dekker, and a playhouse scribe known to have worked for both Strange's Men and the Admiral's Men. The fifth (‘Hand D’) has been claimed, with strong support, as Shakespeare's. If so, this is his only surviving literary manuscript. A scene of three pages, it depicts More, as sheriff of London, pacifying apprentices in a May‐Day rebellion against foreigners. More was first printed in 1844. The first known professional performance was in London in 1954.

Subjects: Literature.


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