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A Critical Edition of Mildmay Fane's «Vertues Triumph» (1644)


Gerald W. Morton

Written in 1644 by Mildmay Fane, second Earl of Westmorland, Vertues Triumph is in many ways the best drama in the Fane canon of six extant plays and masques. The play is structured as a wit and science play such as those written during the Tudor period by Medwell. The action traces the dual plots of Lord Earth and his heir Nature as they fall victim to the accomplices of Ambition in their efforts to disrupt and thus control Lord Earth's domain. The play effectively allegorizes the political chaos in England which resulted from Parliament's war with the King and projects a decidedly Royalist view of the events of the Civil War.
Contents: Vertues Triump (1644) is dramatic treatment of the political events of the English Civil War. As a Cavalier, Mildmay Fane held a decidedly Royalist view of those events despite his family's Puritan background. To date, no edition of Vertues Triumph, contained in British Library Manuscript Addition 34221, has appeared.