DEEP: Database of Early English Playbooks

1620 Middleton, Thomas; Rowley, William The World Tossed at Tennis

Reference Information

DEEP #: 687
Greg #: 365a(*)
STC/Wing #: 17909
Record Type: Single-Play Playbook
Play Type: Occasional; Adult Professional
Genre (Annals): Masque
Book Edition: 1
Play Edition: 1
Format: Quarto
Leaves: 24
Date of First Publication: 1620
Date of First Production: 1620
Company of First Production: Prince Charles's Men (first)
Company Attribution: Prince Charles's Men (first)
Total Editions: 1 quarto
Variants: The title page exists in two states: Greg 365a(*) lists Wright as bookseller and the address of his shop, uses all capitals in the first part of the play title, and does not contain a woodcut; Greg 365a(†) does not name Wright as bookseller but still lists the address of his shop, uses uppercase and lowercase letters in the first part of the play title, and contains a woodcut. See also Greg 365a(†)

Title-Page Features

Title: A COVRTLY MASQVE: THE DEVICE CALLED The World tost at Tennis.
Author: Inuented, and set downe, By { Tho: Middleton | & | William Rowley } Gent.
Performance: As it hath beene diuers times Presented to the Contentment of many Noble and Worthy Spectators, By the PRINCE his Seruants.
Imprint: LONDON, Printed by George Purslowe, and are to be sold by Edward Wright, at Christ Church Gate. 1620.

Paratextual Material

Dedication: "The Epistle Dedicatory" (in verse) to: Charles Howard, 3rd Baron Howard of Effingham (2nd Earl of Nottingham); and Mary (Cokayne) Howard, Lady Effingham; from: Thomas Middleton [A3r]
To the Reader: "To the well-wishing, -well reading Vnderstander, well-vnderstanding Reader" signed "Simplicitie" [A4r]
Character List: "The Figures, and Persons properly raysde for Employment through the whole Masque" [A2v]

Stationer Information

Printer: Purslowe, George
Bookseller: Wright, Edward
Imprint Location: C.1 (Newgate Within - Christ Church)
Entries in Stationers' Register: Jul 4, 1620: Entered to George Purslowe and John Trundle: "A booke called, A Courtly Masque or the world tossed at Tennis, acted at the Princes Armes, by the Prince his highnes seruantes".
Additional Notes: This masque was originally intended for a court performance at Denmark House by Prince Charles's Men during the winter of 1619-1620, but it is not clear if that performance ever took place. According to G. E. Bentley, it does seem to have been performed shortly thereafter at a theater on the Bankside and, in the 1630s, by Queen Henrietta Maria's Men and Beeston's Boys at the Phoenix/Cockpit theater (The Jacobean and Caroline Stage, 4:907-11).