The masque-like drama Arcadia Restored was composed anymously at the time of the English Civil War, when public performances of plays were banned but when the theatrical culture that had surrounded Shakespeare was still alive - and the glories of Restoration drama were soon to bloom. Published in a stand-alone edition only once before, and w newly edited by textual critic Akihiro Yamada, Arcadia Restored sheds fascinating light on illegal dramatic activities in the years before the Restoration. The heart of this edition is of course the play itself, 'an allegorical entertainment', as Yamada describes it, populated by satyrs and nymphs, Ju and Cupid, and Fortune and Virtue, among many others. But this edition also features a rich editorial apparatus that offers a discussion of the provenance of the untitled manuscript and its physical aspects and other features, as well as detailing critics' varied ideas about the work's possible author (George Chapman among them), the play's date and sources, the number of players required to stage it, even its possible performance history. Yamada's tes to individual lines will help both general readers and specialists better understand the allusions sprinkled throughout the text. A glossary and a set of appendices that reproduce extracts from two possible sources for the play are also included. This edition is published as a complement to the original-spelling version of Arcadia Restored available for the first time in Yamada's collection Secrets of the Printed Page in the Age of Shakespeare ( AMS Studies in the Renaissance , number 46).
In 1959 Akihiro Yamada began as a specialist in early modern English literature at the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon. His books include Thomas Creede: Printer to Shakespeare and His Contemporaries (1994) and Peter Short: An Elizabethan Printer (2002). He is also an editor of the Revels Plays edition of George Chapman's The Widow's Tears (1975) and The First Folio of Shakespeare: A Transcript of Contemporary Marginalia (1998). He is Professor Emeritus of Shinshu University in Japan.