New Edition of Joseph Rutter's play The Shepherd's Holiday
The text of the play is available in a paperback version and also as Kindle ebook.
By: John R. Pierce
Joseph Rutter was a member of Ben Jonson's circle of poets, known for his translation of Corneille's The Cid. The Shepherd's Holiday: A Pastoral Tragi-Comedy enjoyed some popularity in its day. The play was performed about 1634 at the Palace of Whitehall before King Charles I and Queen Henrietta Maria, and received public performances at the Cockpit Stage, Drury Lane, London.
The play is about shepherds and shepherdesses in Arcadia who interact with members of the royal court. Sylvia came to live among the shepherds of Arcadia. She and the shepherd Thyrsis are in love. But then she is abducted. Why? What is her true identity? And what is the parentage of Thyrsis, who was found as a child by a shepherd? What will become of Sylvia and Thyrsis when the shepherds are called to entertain the royal court of Arcadia? And how will the romantic entanglements of some of the other shepherds and shepherdesses play out?
Professor Felix Emanuel Schelling (1856-1945), a professor of English literature at the University of Pennsylvania, considered the play "an estimable piece of work not wanting in dramatic power or poetic embellishment."
Both the paperback and the Kindle ebook can be ordered from Amazon.