The Emperor's Favourite, which appears in print for the first time,
is one of the four anonymous seventeenth-century plays bound in a
single volume in the library of the Newdigate family of Arbury
Hall, Nuneaton. Tentatively attributed to John Newdigate III
(1600-1642), the play uses the story of the rise and fall of
Crispinus, favourite of the Emperor Nero, to mount a critique of
the influence of George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham (1592-1628) at
the courts of James I and Charles I. The volume is illustrated with
ten color plates from the manuscript and from John Newdigate's 1628
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