NR - New Morris Dance Book
jrmapes at ckt.net
Mon Nov 8 16:13:42 PST 1999
THE HISTORY OF MORRIS DANCING (1458-1750) by John Forrest is a narrative
analysis of all the
primary materials concerning morris dancing in England and Scotland from
the first Medieval records in the mid-fifteenth century down to the
The bulk of the work is taken up with describing morris in different
1.Royal Courts: examines the record books of the Tudors who regularly
sponsored morris dances as
elements in grand courtly displays.
2.Urban Streets: concerns processional morrises sponsored by trade
guilds, and performed as part of
large civic processions.
3.Church Property: looks at the sponsorship of morris by the
established church, particularly in the
context of ales, May games, and the like.
4.Church Proscription: deals with the legal actions the church took,
starting in the late sixteenth
century, against morris dancing.
5.Public Stage: collects together all the stage plays that have
directions for a morris dance in them
(mostly from the early seventeenth century).
6.Rural settings: considers morris as a village phenomenon independent
of the church, and as it
developed subsequent to the loss of church sponsorship.
7.Assemblies: examines all country dances that have "morris" in their
8.Private Premises: deals mostly with tours of rural morris sides to
manor houses, and country seats
of the gentry.
The book contains hundreds of direct quotations from primary materials,
and is a virtually endless source for those interested in the historical
context of the dances. Some reconstruction's of historical dances are
also provided. Given the present state of knowledge of the history of
morris the book is definitive and
THE HISTORY OF MORRIS DANCING (1458-1750) is published in England by
James Clarke and in
North America by University of Toronto Press. They may be contacted at:
James Clarke and Co.
PO Box 60, Cambridge, CB1 2NT, England
Tel: +44 (0) 1223 350865
Fax: +44 (0) 1223 368822
University of Toronto Press
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