Significant and unexplored signs of John Marston's literary rivalry with Ben Jonson are investigated here by Charles Cathcart. The centrepiece of the book is its argument that the anonymous play The Family of Love, sometimes attributed to Thomas Middleton and sometimes to Lording Barry, was in part the work of John Marston, and that it constitutes a whimsical statement of amity with Jonson. The book concerns itself with material rarely or never viewed as part of the "Poets' War" (such as the mutual attempted cuckoldings of The Insatiate Countess and the Middle Temple performance of Twelfth Night) rather than with texts (like Satiromastix and Poetaster) long considered in this light.
Table of Contents
Contents: The war of the theatres and the virtues of conjecture; Love's Martyr, the 'vatum chorus', and speculative attribution; John Weever and 'Horace merit'; Why did What You Will appear in 1607?; The Insatiate Countess: emulation, appropriation and cuckoldry; The Family of Love and John Marston; The Family of Love and the 'poets' war'; Malvolio, Marston and Frederick Fleay; Afterword; Bibliography; Index.
Charles Cathcart is an independent scholar.