Sederi Yearbook 31

Sederi 30
Sederi 31 — 2021
Ana Sáez-Hidalgo
Marta Cerezo Moreno
Isabel Guerrero Llorente
Miguel Ramalhete
ISSN 1135-7789


Alison Shell, “Priestly playwright, secular priest: William Drury’s Latin and English drama.” SEDERI 31 (2021): 117–145.


DOI:                                                         Download PDF



This article examines the literary career of the secular priest William Drury, with an emphasis on his drama. The Latin plays which he wrote for performance at the English College in Douai are among the best-known English Catholic college dramas of the Stuart era; markedly different from the Jesuit drama which dominates the corpus of British Catholic college plays, they suggest conscious dissociation from that imaginative tradition. Hierarchomachia: or the Anti-Bishop, a satirical closet drama which intervenes in the controversy surrounding the legitimacy and extent of England’s Catholic episcopacy, can also be attributed to Drury. In both his Latin and English drama, Drury draws imaginative stimulus from his ideological opposition to Jesuits and other regulars. Yet his characteristic blend of didacticism and comedy, and his sympathy for the plight of all English Catholics—surely fomented by the death of his Jesuit brother in the notorious “Fatal Vesper”—point to broader priestly concerns.

Keywords: William Drury; Robert Drury; Chalcedon controversy; Catholic college drama; English College; Douai.




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