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The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare and Contemporary Dramatists


Part of Cambridge Companions to Literature

Arthur F. Kinney, Clara Calvo, Richard Wilson, Warren Chernaik, Matthew Steggle, Darryll Grantley, Ton Hoenselaars, Jean E. Howard, Paul Franssen, Catherine Henze, Michelle O'Callaghan, Robert Henke, Lisa Hopkins, Rui Carvalho Homem, Heather Hirschfeld, Elizabeth Schafer
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  • Date Published: October 2012
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521767545

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About the Authors
  • While Shakespeare's popularity has continued to grow, so has the attention paid to the work of his contemporaries. The contributors to this Companion introduce the distinctive drama of these playwrights, from the court comedies of John Lyly to the works of Richard Brome in the Caroline era. With chapters on a wide range of familiar and lesser-known dramatists, including Thomas Kyd, Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson, John Webster, Thomas Middleton and John Ford, this book devotes particular attention to their personal and professional relationships, occupational rivalries and collaborations. Overturning the popular misconception that Shakespeare wrote in isolation, it offers a new perspective on the most impressive body of drama in the history of the English stage.

    • Focuses not merely on Shakespeare but also devotes equal attention to his fellow dramatists, revealing Shakespeare as part of a complex network of friends, rivals and enemies
    • Presents Shakespeare as a collaborator with other dramatists, addressing the general misconception that he worked in isolation
    • Strikes a balance between single-authored and co-authored plays, returning the notion of the 'author' to the discussion of the plays, while also allowing space for the still under-researched issue of collaborative authorship
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… a fine primer for the Shakespearean era.' Reference Reviews

    '… will prove useful for both undergraduates and graduate teaching. The volume is framed by a convenient chronology and a thoughtfully prepared bibliography that guide readers both back to formative early publications and forward to a solid selection of more recent work.' Shakespeare Quarterly

    'A well-informed and variously interesting survey on the Elizabethan theatre.' Daniela Guardamagna, Memori Di Shakespeare

    'The Companion's achievement is twofold: it introduces the reader to a variety of dramatists contemporary with Shakespeare but much less often studied, and it disproves the idea, prevalent for centuries, of Shakespeare as an isolated genius who worked on his own. In the days before copyright, Shakespeare and his colleagues frequently had a finger in one another's plays, to an extent that renders attribution a far more complicated question than it is generally considered. This realisation is a key to understanding early modern drama, and this book conveys it with efficiency and panache.' Mette Sjölin, English Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2012
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521767545
    • length: 326 pages
    • dimensions: 231 x 150 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.61kg
    • contains: 7 b/w illus. 1 music example
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. John Lyly and the university wits: George Peele, Robert Greene, Thomas Lodge and Thomas Nashe Arthur F. Kinney
    2. Thomas Kyd and the Elizabethan blockbuster: The Spanish Tragedy Clara Calvo
    3. 'The words of mercury': Shakespeare and Marlowe Richard Wilson
    4. The dyer's hand: Shakespeare and Jonson Warren Chernaik
    5. Urbane John Marston: obscenity, playfulness, co-operation Matthew Steggle
    6. Thomas Dekker and the emergence of city comedy Darryll Grantley
    7. Shakespeare: colleagues, collaborators, co-authors Ton Hoenselaars
    8. Thomas Heywood: dramatist of London and playwright of the passions Jean E. Howard
    9. George Chapman's learned drama Paul Franssen
    10. Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher's tragicomedy as musical melodrama Catherine Henze
    11. Thomas Middleton and the early modern theatre Michelle O'Callaghan
    12. John Webster: collaboration and solitude Robert Henke
    13. John Ford: suffering and silence in Perkin Warbeck and 'Tis Pity She's a Whore Lisa Hopkins
    14. Philip Massinger: drama, reputation, and the dynamics of social history Rui Carvalho Homem
    15. Richard Brome and the idea of a Caroline theatre Heather Hirschfeld
    16. Troublesome histories: performance and early modern drama Elizabeth Schafer.

  • Editor

    Ton Hoenselaars, Universiteit Utrecht, The Netherlands
    Ton Hoenselaars is Professor of Early Modern English Literature and Culture at Utrecht University, where he teaches Renaissance drama in its historical contexts and in later adaptations both in Britain and abroad. His research concentrates on early modern English literature (with a special focus on Shakespeare) and its international relations. He has published widely on images of nations in Renaissance literature, literature in translation and on Shakespeare in European culture from 1600 to the present day. He is the author of Images of Englishmen and Foreigners in the Drama of Shakespeare and his Contemporaries (1992), and co-editor of a number of collections, including Shakespeare's Italy (1993), The Italian World of English Renaissance Drama (1998), The Author as Character (1999), 400 Years of Shakespeare in Europe (2003), Shakespeare and the Language of Translation (2004), Shakespeare's History Plays (2004) and Challenging Humanism (2005).


    Arthur F. Kinney, Clara Calvo, Richard Wilson, Warren Chernaik, Matthew Steggle, Darryll Grantley, Ton Hoenselaars, Jean E. Howard, Paul Franssen, Catherine Henze, Michelle O'Callaghan, Robert Henke, Lisa Hopkins, Rui Carvalho Homem, Heather Hirschfeld, Elizabeth Schafer

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