Falstaff on tour: county, town and country in the late Elizabethan theatre

Neil Rhodes*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Why does Falstaff travel to York via Gloucestershire in Henry the Fourth, part two? And why does Shakespeare interrupt his second tetralogy of history plays to take his most famous comic character to Windsor in the Merry Wives? This article uses Falstaff's tour of England in these two plays to explore an idea of the country founded upon local identities rather than on the overarching appeal of nationhood. Drawing upon chorography and social history, it focusses on the association of people and place and offers a view of England from the ground up rather than through the more imposing structures of political narrative and symbolic form.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)384-398
Number of pages15
JournalRenaissance Studies
Issue number3
Early online date5 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023


  • England
  • Gloucestershire
  • Windsor


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