George Chapman is known today as a translator of Homer and as the author of dark tragedies such as Bussy D'Ambois. An Humorous Day's Mirth, written in 1597, was one of the most popular plays of the Elizabethan era. Not only was Chapman's play the Rose Theatre's greatest box-office success of that year, but it also presented an entirely new type of comedy, one that has profoundly influenced comic writing up to the present day.
This play is the English theatre's first 'comedy of humours', in which the attitudes, behaviour, and social pretensions of contemporary men and women are satirised. Charles Edelman's is the first fully annotated, modern spelling edition of this long-neglected play. In his extensive introduction and commentary, Edelman discusses the intellectual, philosophical and theatrical background to Chapman's comedy, and shows that An Humorous Day's Mirth would delight the readers and audiences of today as much as it did those in 1597. -- .
Charles Edelman is an Honorary Senior Fellow at Edith Cowan University.