The York Mystery Plays, more properly called the York Corpus Christi Plays, are a Middle English cycle of forty-eight mystery plays, or pageants, which cover sacred history from the creation to the Last Judgement. These were traditionally presented on the feast day of Corpus Christi (a movable feast occurring the Thursday after Trinity Sunday, between May 23 and June 24). They were performed in the city of York, from the middle of the fourteenth century until 1569. It is one of only four virtually complete surviving English mystery play cycles, with the others known as the Chester Mystery Plays, the Towneley/Wakefield plays and N-Town plays. In addition to these, two long, composite, and late mystery pageants have survived from the Coventry cycle, and there are records and fragments from other similar productions which took place elsewhere. A manuscript of the York plays, probably dating from some time between 1463 and 1477, survives at the British Library.
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“I long for a land that does not yet exist, a place where women are valued both for their intellects and their motherhood and where choices between career and nurturing are somehow less stark.”
—Where Mothers Matter, New York Times Magazine (February 20, 1994)
“I try to make a rough music, a dance of the mind, a calculus of the emotions, a driving beat of praise out of the pain and mystery that surround me and become me. My poems are meant to make your mind get up and shout.”
—Judith Johnson Sherwin (b. 1936)
“Goodbye, boys; Im under arrest. I may have to go to jail. I may not see you for a long time. Keep up the fight! Dont surrender! Pay no attention to the injunction machine at Parkersburg. The Federal judge is a scab anyhow. While you starve he plays golf. While you serve humanity, he serves injunctions for the money powers.”
—Mother Jones (18301930)