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Porter, Henry


Subject Literature » Renaissance Literature

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405194495.2012.x


Henry Porter (d.1599) was an Elizabethan playwright who wrote one extant play, The two angry women of Abington , plus several others known only from their titles. The title page of The two angry women calls him ‘Gent.’, and he refers to himself in the prologue as a ‘poor scholar’, but further biographical information about Porter has proved elusive, partly because the name was so common. The play shows some familiarity with the countryside around Oxford, suggesting that Porter may have attended the university there. Rosetta Shear (1927) identifies the playwright with a Henry Porter who matriculated at Oxford in 1589, but Mark Eccles (1982) points out that the two men's signatures are totally different, and E. H. C. Oliphant's (1928) suggestion of an earlier Cambridge man is treated with justified scepticism by Eccles and Marianne Evett (1980) . Eccles (1982) notes several records from the 1590s involving a London musician named Henry Porter, but it seems doubtful that such a man would be called a gentleman or call himself a ‘poor scholar’. He is probably the ‘mr porter’ to whom theatrical impresario Philip Henslowe lent £5 in December 1596 and another £4 in March 1597, though the identification is not certain. A further mention of ‘mr porter’ on 30 May 1598 as the author of a play called Love prevented is probably a forgery, but over the following year there are more ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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