Introduction: Why Does Marston Matter?

  • Rebecca Yearling


In 2002, Dominic Cooke directed John Marston’s The Malcontent for the Royal Shakespeare Company, but throughout rehearsals he found it hard to get a clear sense of the play and how it worked. In a 2006 interview with The Guardian, he recalled, ‘Suddenly we did the first preview and discovered: it’s a comedy! None of us had seen it before — we’d had no idea.’1


Seventeenth Century Personal Attack Aesthetic Response Private Theatre Dramatic Work 
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  1. 2.
    Marston’s authorship of Histriomastix has been disputed by Rosalyn Knutson in ‘Histrio-Mastix: Not By John Marston’, Studies in Philology 98 (2001): pp. 359–77. Knutson’s argument is discussed in Chapter 1.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    Samuel Schoenbaum, ‘The Precarious Balance of John Marston,’ PMLA 67.7 (1952) 1069–78;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Patrick Buckridge, ‘Safety in Fiction: Marston’s Recreational Poetics’, in The Drama of John Marston: Critical Re-Visions, ed. T.F. Wharton (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001) p. 80.Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    Anthony Caputi, John Marston, Satirist (Ithaca NY: Cornell University Press, 1961) p. 1;Google Scholar
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    James Bednarz, ‘Representing Jonson: Histriomastix and the Origin of the Poets’ War’, Huntington Library Quarterly 54 (1991) p. 3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Lois Potter, ‘Tragedy and Performance’, in The Cambridge Companion to English Renaissance Tragedy, ed. Emma Smith (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010) p. 111.Google Scholar
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    Alfred Harbage, Shakespeare and the Rival Traditions (New York: Macmillan, 1952) p. 71.Google Scholar
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    There are also references to Crispinus having red hair and ‘little legs’, which may have been physical features associated with Marston. For more on this, see Charles Cathcart, Marston, Rivalry, Rapprochement and Jonson (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2008) pp. 68–70.Google Scholar
  10. 13.
    See James Bednarz, Shakespeare and the Poets’ War (New York: Columbia University Press, 2001);Google Scholar
  11. Cyrus Hoy, Introductions, Notes, and Commentaries to Texts in The Dramatic Works of Thomas Dekker, 4 vols (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980), vol. 1, pp. 179–310; Tom Cain’s Introduction to the Revels edition of Poetaster (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1995);Google Scholar
  12. Matthew Steggle, Wars of The Theatres: The Poetics of Personation in the Age of Jonson, English Literary Studies Monograph Series No. 75 (Victoria BC, Canada: Victoria University Press, 1998); Cathcart, Marston, Rivalry.Google Scholar
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    David Bevington, Tudor Drama and Politics (Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 1968) p. 279.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 16.
    David Riggs, Ben Jonson: A Life (Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 1989) p. 79.Google Scholar
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    Philip J. Finkelpearl, John Marston of the Middle Temple: An Elizabethan Dramatist in His Social Setting (Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 1969) p. 176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 21.
    Nova Myhill and Jennifer A. Low, Imagining the Audience in Early Modern Drama (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011) p. 3.Google Scholar
  17. 23.
    Hirschfeld, Joint Enterprises: Collaborative Drama and the Institutionalization of the English Renaissance Theater (Amherst MA: Massachusetts University Press, 2004) p.31.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Rebecca Yearling 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rebecca Yearling
    • 1
  1. 1.Keele UniversityUK

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