The Duchess of Malfi
Seven Masterpieces of Jacobean Drama
By Frank Kermode (Editor)
(Modern Library, Paperback, 9780679642435, 688pp.)
Publication Date: May 10, 2005
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Edited and with an Introduction by Frank Kermode
A Woman Killed with Kindness by Thomas Heywood
Volpone by Ben Jonson
The Revenger’s Tragedy by Cyril Tourneur
The Maid’s Tragedy by John Fletcher and Francis Beaumont
A Chaste Maid in Cheapside by Thomas Middleton
The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster
The Changeling by Thomas Middleton and William Rowley
The lyrical, bloodthirsty tragedies and witty urban comedies in this original collection were first performed during the reign of King James I (1603—25). Though nearly four centuries old, they display surprisingly modern sensibilities regarding sex, violence, morality, and honor. Brilliantly introduced and annotated by Frank Kermode, these seven Jacobean masterpieces are the finest and most representative plays of a time when drama was the most vital and important mirror of English society.
Frank Kermode is Britain’s most distinguished scholar of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century literature. He has written and edited numerous works, including Shakespeare’s Language and The Age of Shakespeare. He has taught at University College, London, and Cambridge University, and has been a visiting professor at Columbia, Harvard, and Yale, among other American institutions. He lives in Cambridge, England.