The Records of Early English Drama (REED) series aims to establish the context for the great drama of Britain's past by examining material related to drama, secular music, and other communal entertainment and ceremony from the Middle Ages until the mid-seventeenth century. This latest volume in the series is a collection of documentary evidence for dramatic performance, minstrelsy, and civic ceremony in the Principality of Wales from the mid-fifth century to 1660. Editor David N. Klausner has included documents relevant to the explicitly Welsh mode of bardic performance as well as evidence of the bardic profession's efforts to regulate itself with a grading system and standards for education and training. Municipal records show payments to civic musicians and other performers, and records of the courts in particular - Star Chamber, Great Sessions, and Quarter Sessions - clarify the existence of local drama on both a professional and non-professional basis, in both Welsh and English, from at least the beginning of the sixteenth century.
This volume is a superb addition to the already much-admired REED series and will be of great benefit to anyone interested in Renaissance theatre or Welsh history and culture.
David N. Klausner is a professor in the Department of English and the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto.