Mother Bombie is unique among Lyly's comedies in its urban setting and focus upon middle and lower class concerns.
The play turns on the tissue of misconceptions surrounding the efforts of four fathers to secure socially advantageous marriages for their heirs, and the determination of their young servants to exploit their masters' misguided aspirations for their own advantage. A theatrical success in its own day, the play is of particular interest to twenty-first century criticism for its focus upon those situated on the margins of the social group, notably Mother Bombie herself, thought by some to be a witch, and the two simpletons whose marital prospects lie at the heart of the action.
This fully annotated, modern-spelling edition of the play, now available in paperback, is re-edited from the earliest witnesses; the quartos of 1594 and 1598, and incorporates the songs first published by Blount in his collected edition of Lyly's works in 1632 -- .
Leah Scragg is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the School of Arts, Histories and Cultures, University of Manchester -- .
General editors' preface Acknowledgements Abbreviations Introduction THE TEXT Authorship and date Sources and contexts Style and structure Cunning and folly Marginalization Dramaturgy, staging, and the stage history of the play Critical reception This edition Notes Mother Bombie Appendix: historical collation. Index -- .