Bartholmew Fair (New Mermaids)

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9780713635317: Bartholmew Fair (New Mermaids)

1994 W.W. Norton trade paperback, reprint. Ben Jonson (Every Man in His Humour). Early modern London - too foggy and Protestant to have a carnival - offered its inhabitants commercial events during which to indulge their need for bodily delights and festival exuberance. The fair of St Bartholmew, held anually in Smithfield on 24 August, served Jonson as an opportunity to dissect a wide cross-section of Londoners and their various reasons for spending a day out among the booths, stalls, smells and noises of the fair. Unusually magnanimous for a Jonsonian city comedy, the main thrust of the satire is not against fools, madmen, fortune-hunters, cuckolds or prostitutes, but against hypocrisy and bigotry. - Amazon

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