Belfield, Jane (1979)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
This thesis is a modern-spelling edition of Tarlton's
News Out of Purgatory, based on the British Library's copy of the first edition of 1590, with occasional emendations from the second and third editions, and including a full collation of the three early editions. The Introduction offers studies of various aspects of the work, including the bibliographical background of the piece, and descriptions of surviving copies; the life and legend of Richard Tarlton; the background of the genre of 'News from Hell', to which the work belongs, and examination of works in that genre which immediately followed the publication of Tarlton's News Out of Purgatory; and the sources of the pamphlet, and the author's adaptation and development of them. There is a study of the work published in response to Tarlton's News Out of Purgatory in 1590, The Cobler of Caunterburie; an investigation into the question of the identity of the author, including consideration of claims that have been made for various writers, and, finally, a short critical appreciation of the work. There is a full Commentary on the text, including glosses of obscure and archaic words, textual notes, explanations of references in the work, and, as part of the investigation into the authorship, echoes of the works of contemporary writers.
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