Dutch Lady Discovery

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The Boston Public Library just discovered an unknown play!

When he was still an Associates-funded Rare Books and Manuscript Librarian, Jay Moschella discovered a unique seventeenth-century play, The Dutch Lady, in the Thomas Pennant Barton Collection during preparations for the Shakespeare Unauthorized exhibition. Although the manuscript wasn’t used in the exhibition, Jay’s cataloging work reintroduced the play to the world. The play had never been published, there are no records of contemporary play performances, and the BPL seems to hold the only known copy. Dr. Joe Stephenson, of Abilene Christian University, is now preparing a scholarly edition of the play, using the BPL’s digitized version, which will be published in 2018. Last summer The Dutch Lady was performed in Stratford-upon-Avon, Birmingham, and London—the first performances of this play in over 300 years (if ever).

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