‘The Disguised Ruler in Shakespeare and his Contemporaries’ Short Listed for the Shakespeare’s Globe Book Award

Posted by Ally Berthiaume and Hattie Wilson

Congratulations to Ashgate author, Kevin A Quarmby for being awarded runner-up for the 2014 Shakespeare’s Globe Book Award for his monograph, The Disguised Ruler in Shakespeare and his Contemporaries. This award, only given every other year, goes to a first monograph published in the last two years that has made a significant contribution to Shakespeare scholarship. The award was judged by a panel of prestigious academics comprising: Patrick Spottiswoode, Director Globe Education (Chair); Dr Farah Karim-Cooper (Globe Education); Professor David Lindley (University of Leeds); Professor Gordon McMullan, (King’s College London); Professor Laurie Maguire (University of Oxford); and Dr Abigail Rokison (The Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham, and Shakespeare’s Globe Book Award winner in 2012).

Now among those leaving their footprint in continuing Shakespeare scholarship is Ashgate’s very own, Kevin A Quarmby. Quarmby is Assistant Professor of English at Oxford College of Emory University, Atlanta, and Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Halle Institute for Global Learning. He is editing Henry VI Part 1 for Internet Shakespeare Editions and also holds the role of Editor for their theatre review journal, ISEC. In addition to his editorial accomplishments, Quarmby has published extensively in a variety of academic journals (Shakespeare, Shakespeare Bulletin, and Cahiers Elizabethain, to name a few). It is a considerable success then to have his first monograph attain short list status for this distinguished award.

We congratulate him on this most recent achievement and are proud to have him among our canon of authors.

The Disguised Ruler in ShakespeareThe Disguised Ruler in Shakespeare and his Contemporaries:

Measure for Measure, Malcontent and other disguised ruler plays are typically interpreted as synchronic political commentaries about King James. Quarmby, by contrast, traces the disguised ruler’s medieval origins and marks its presence on the Elizabethan stage. Influenced by European tragicomedy, the motif had by Jacobean times transformed romantic images of royal disguise into more sinister instances of politicized voyeurism. Market forces in London’s vibrant repertory system fuelled this dramatic evolution.

‘This excellent book fills a gap in the fields of English literature and history, and destabilizes some idée fixes of the Shakespeare field – for instance, the idea, often promulgated, that the Friar in Measure for Measure is a reflection of James I. Written with Quarmby’s typical charm and clarity, this important book is so cogent and accessible that scholars from undergraduates to professors will profit from it.’    Tiffany Stern, Professor of Early Modern Drama, University College, Oxford, UK

‘Kevin A. Quarmby’s The Disguised Ruler in Shakespeare and His Contemporaries offers a convincing rejoinder to a new historicist orthodoxy: that the beginning of James I’s reign witnessed the emergence and brief flowering of a distinctly Jacobean subgenre, the disguised ruler play.’    Studies in English Literature 1500-1900

‘…Quarmby’s monograph is an important contribution to theatre performance criticism which will hopefully lead to a reappreciation of the disguised ruler motif among Renaissance scholars.’    Shakespeare Jahrbuch

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