The places of foolery: Robert Armin and fooling in Edinburgh

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Robert Armin, known as one of the original comic actors of Shakespeare's company, in 1600 published a series of supposedly authentic tales of 'natural fools', Foole upon Foole. One of his protagonists is the Scots fool Jemy Camber, whose antics are played through Edinburgh. Armin’s stories of Jemy Camber are rooted in local and geographical detail, details which give the fooling its cultural power while also suggest fascinating glimpses of actuality. While we can never fully untangle fact from fiction, or information from rhetorical persuasion, Armin's anecdotes appear to offer us a range of insights – both historical and theoretical – into the life and times of a Scots royal fool, into Armin himself, and also more broadly into the role of space and place in sixteenth-century foolery.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Pages (from-to)11-26
Number of pages16
JournalMedieval English Theatre
Publication statusPublished - 19 Nov 2015

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