John Rastell (or Rastall) was both a man of his time and a pioneer. He was of his time in pursuing so many activities and interests, as a lawyer, printer, designer, theatre entrepreneur and Reformer; but he was also a man of vision, first or almost first in several fields: printing plays, printing music, building the first known playhouse and setting sail for the New World. Across the wide range of his activities there is evidence of a desire to reach out, educate and change an audience not hitherto reached by existing literary and dramatic practice, a desire fostered by his connections with the humanist ideals of the More circle.

There is no extant record of Rastell’s birth. The date of 1475 is deduced from his admission …

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Citation: Dillon, Janette. "John Rastell". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 23 March 2005 [, accessed 25 September 2023.]

3714 John Rastell 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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