The anonymous The Merry Devil of Edmonton, first published 1608, would seem an obvious place to begin looking for representations of magic in Renaissance drama. This Chamberlain’s/King’s Men’s play draws on folk legends of Peter Fabell, a scholar and conjuror who ‘for his fame in sleights and magic won, / Was called the merry fiend of Edmonton’ (Prologue 14-15).1 The induction stages a contest between Fabell and a spirit, Coreb, in which the witty Fabell wins seven more years of life. Yet after this set-up, as the play’s most recent editor notes, ‘Fabell’s role in the action seems rather marginal, as the play exploits his magical powers less than one might expect. He performs in fact only “pretty sleights” that “but sat upon the skirts of art”’.2 The play itself turns out to be a romantic comedy of young love, thwarted fathers, and petty clowning. While Fabell promises to conjure ‘fellows of a handful high’ (2.2.88), ‘spirits to dance such nightly jigs’ (1.2.190), and ‘such rings of mist/ As never rose from any dampish fen’ (1.2.77), none of these magical phenomena are ever realised on stage, and his ingenious interactions with the plot are entirely natural.