Four Birds of Noah's Ark: A Prayer Book From the Time of Shakespeare
: A timeless, little-known literary classic As the Black Death ravaged London in 1608, the theaters closed, many people moved out of town for safety, and playwrights scrambled to find other outlets for their talent. While Shakespeare retreated...
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A timeless, little-known literary classic
As the Black Death ravaged London in 1608, the theaters closed, many people moved out of town for safety, and playwrights scrambled to find other outlets for their talent. While Shakespeare retreated to his hometown of Stratford, Thomas Dekker wrote Four Birds of Noah's Ark, a book containing fifty-six prayers for the people of London and all of England.
Dekker's prayers bear witness to his deep faith and profound understanding of human psychology with a power and poignancy that few written prayers in English literature achieve. Bringing this devotional classic back into print for the first time since 1924, editor Robert Hudson has included a fine introduction, annotated the prayers, and modernized the language without sacrificing any of its beauty and simplicity.
This lovely book at once surprises and enchants with its literary voice, devotional heart, and accessible writing.
Robert Hudson is a senior editor at Zondervan. With his wife, Shelly Townsend-Hudson, he has written Companions for the Soul and A Christian Writer's Manual of Style. He also edits the e-zine WorkingPOET.
Dekker was a popular, prolific writer who had a hand in at least 40 plays, which he wrote for Philip Henslowe, the theatrical entrepreneur. In the plays that seem to be completely by Dekker, he shows himself as a realist of London life, but even his most realistic plays have a strong undertone of romantic themes and aspirations. The Shoemaker's Holiday (1600), for example, glorifies the gentle craft of the shoemaker, and the character Simon Eyre speaks in an extravagant, hyperbolic style that is far from realistic. Dekker also wrote such prose pamphlets as the Bellman of London (1608) and The Gull's Hornbook (1609), the latter an entertaining account of the behavior of a country yokel and dupe in London. He died in debt.