The Welsh Embassador – Introduction

The Welsh Embassador is one of a handful of plays that have survived only in manuscript form (in this online collection, other examples are Sir Thomas More and Charlemagne).  It is essentially a reworking of the same plot as The Noble Spanish Soldier, but in a lighter “tragicomedic” style.

The manuscript’s earliest known mention was in a list found among the papers of Abraham Hill.  It was in a list of a bookseller’s stock dating between 1677 and 1703, where it appears as “the Welch [sic] Embassador, or a comedy in disguises, Tho Dekker.”  Beyond this mention, there is no trace of the manuscript until  it appears in the collection of Joseph Haslewood around 1821.

As with several of the manuscripts of the period, there is some damage to the bottom of the original pages.   Editors are forced to speculate as to what words are missing.  I have followed, for the most part, Fredson Bowers’ suggestions.  I have marked these gaps, as other editors do, with the <  > brackets.  Any letters appearing within the brackets are Bowers’ speculations.  Where no letters appear, it indicates that there are no satisfying  suggestions for the missing text.

As well as the Fredson Bowers text, I have also consulted the Malone Society Edition, edited by H. Littledale and the general editor, W. W. Greg in 1921.

Dramatis Personæ
Act One, Scene One
Act One, Scene Two
Act One, Scene Three
Act Two, Scene One
Act Two, Scene Two
Act Two, Scene Three
Act Three, Scene One
Act Three, Scene Two
Act Three, Scene Three
Act Four, Scene One
Act Four, Scene Two
Act Four, Scene Three
Act Five, Scene One
Act Five, Scene Two
Act Five, Scene Three

Return to Dekker page


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