Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Norman Sanders

Committee Members

John H. Fisher, Bain T. Stewart, Martha Osborne


The purpose of this study was to prepare a diplomatic transcription and critical analysis of Mildmay Fane's De Pugna Animi, an unpublished manuscript play contained in British Library Ms. Add. 34221. The play, a political allegory, was written in 1650 and is the last play in the Fane canon which includes seven extant dramas.

The editorial method of the Malone Society was employed in the preparation of the manuscript. Every effort was made to produce a text true to the original manuscript. Textual notes appear at the bottom of pages. Explanatory notes are located at the end of the text. Critical materials deal with the passing of the text, sources of the play, and interpretative analysis. Material on the life of the author and his other works is included.

Although not of great literary value, De Pugna Animi is an interesting play, partly because Fane was an important member of the court of Charles I. Moreover, the play allegorizes Fane's political philosophy in large part derived from the need for England to find harmony during the Civil War period. The play presents the rebellion of the monarch's senses, represented in the form of renegade kings, and the assault of the vices against the body politic represented by Lord Mens. To counter this rebellion, Mens assembles the virtues under the guidance of reason. This army overcomes the vices and subjugates the rebellious kings, thus leaving the microcosm in order.

De Pugna Animi falls into the tradition of the psychomachia drama. It is particularly related to the political allegories of the Tudor Period. Moreover, the play is built upon a foundation of typical Renaissance thought that includes the cosmic parallel of the microcosm and the macrocosm and the ideal of the Divine Right of Kings. Numerous allusions to contemporary events are particularly significant, for through them the reader can see Fane's reaction to his own time and the political discord that ruled it.

Thus far, the Fane canon has received only limited attention. This study adds to that scholarship. However, Fane's remaining unpublished plays require preparation and his poetry scrutiny.

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