By the late Elizabethan period, two acting companies dominated the London theater scene, The Lord Chamberlain’s Men and the Lord Admirals’ Men. The Chamberlain was Henry Carey, Baron Hunsdon. The Lord Admiral was his son-in-law, Charles Howard, Earl of Nottingham. Both men were cousins to Queen Elizabeth. Literary historians spend much ink deciphering the relationships between the two companies, their playwrights and their actors, and frequently present them as competing theater troupes. This lecture will look at how the two companies, under the patronage of the queen’s Carey cousins, functioned as both an extension of and in service to the court.
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