English Verse Drama complements and extends the pioneering English Poetry Full-Text Database. It adds six centuries of poetry intended for the stage to the thirteen centuries of poetry already available.
English Verse Drama contains more than 1,500 works by around 450 named authors and approximately 230 anonymous works, from the Shrewsbury Fragments of the late thirteenth century through the unparalleled output of the Elizabethan and Jacobean period to the end of the nineteenth century. It provides a fuller context than ever before for the historical and linguistic study of English literature.
As with English Poetry, the bibliographic basis is the New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature, CUP 1969-72 (NCBEL). The database aims to encompass the complete published corpus of verse dramas of writers listed in NCBEL who were active before 1900.
A verse drama is generally defined as a work acted on or intended for the stage which is either wholly in verse or includes significant verse content. Masques and short dramatic pieces written primarily in verse, selected translations, works written for children and numerous adaptations are included.
The entire text of each verse drama is included. Any accompanying text written by the original author and forming an integral part of the work, such as epigraphs, dramatis personae, footnotes, sidenotes and endnotes, is generally also included.
The texts are fully and consistently encoded to provide precise access according to a wide variety of search criteria. Users can search, browse and read this enormous corpus in an intuitive and friendly manner and display the works on screen in a form that is close to the printed versions.
Publication is in two releases. The first release is available and the second will be made in December 1995.
English Verse Drama is also available on magnetic tape.