1st Edition

The Theatrical Legacy of Thomas Middleton, 1624–2024

Edited By William David Green, Anna L. Hegland, Sam Jermy Copyright 2024
    232 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This volume celebrates Thomas Middleton’s legacy as a dramatist, marking the 400th anniversary of Middleton’s final and most contentious work for the public theatres, A Game at Chess (1624).

    The collection is divided into three sections: ‘Critical and Textual Reception’, ‘Afterlives and Legacies’, and ‘Practice and Performance’. This division reflects the book’s holistic approach to Middleton’s canon, and its emphasis on the continuing significance of Middleton’s writing to the study of early modern English drama. Each section offers an assessment of the place of Middleton’s drama in culture, criticism, and education today through a range of critical approaches.

    Featuring work from a range of voices (from early career, independent, and seasoned academics and practitioners), the collection will be appropriate for both specialists in early modern literature and drama who are interested in both theory and practice, and students or scholars researching Middleton’s historical significance to the study of early theatre.

    Introduction: ‘[P]oore Chronicler of a Lord Maior’s naked Truth’? Introducing Middleton’s Theatrical Legacy

    William David Green, Anna L. Hegland, and Sam Jermy



    Critical and Textual Reception


    1. Our Other Shakespeare? The Legacy and Controversies of the Oxford Middleton

    William David Green


    2. Creative Marking: Middleton’s and Crane’s Punctuation in A Game at Chesse

    Daniel Yabut


    3. The Puritan’s Paper Trail: or, Print, Plays, and Plot-Holes

    Sophia Richardson


    4. ‘I think it was a shirt; I know not well’: The Depiction and Deception of Linens in The Widow

    Lucy Holehouse



    Afterlives and Legacies


    5. Roaring Boys: Assembling Masculinity on Middleton’s Stage

    Sam Jermy


    6. ‘Black, wicked, and unnatural’: Locating Monstrosity in The Revenger’s Tragedy

    Deyasini Dasgupta


    7. The Uses of the Masque in No Wit, No Help Like a Woman’s Across the Seventeenth Century

    Sharon J. Harris


    8. Vigilante Irony: Middleton’s The Revenger’s Tragedy and Modern Media

    Mark Kaethler


    9. Teaching The Roaring Girl in a Post-Binary World

    Margaret Owens



    Practice and Performance


    10. ‘The full scope, the manner, and intent’: Questions of Scale and Context in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Productions of Women Beware Women

    Peter Malin


    11. The Bloody Banquet in Performance

    Claire Kimball and Charlene V. Smith


    12. Reconstructing The Sun in Aries: An Interview with Beyond Shakespeare

    Anna L. Hegland


    13. The Afterlives of Thomas Middleton’s Civic Pageantry

    J. Caitlin Finlayson


    Afterword: Hearing Middleton

    Tracey Hill


    William David Green teaches medieval and early modern literature at the University of Warwick. He received his PhD from the University of Birmingham’s Shakespeare Institute in 2021, for which he considered Thomas Middleton as an adapter of Shakespeare between 1616 and 1623. This research was generously supported by AHRC Midlands3Cities. His work on Middleton has previously been published in Exchanges and Theatre Notebook, and in the edited collection Kingship, Madness, and Masculinity on the Early Modern Stage (2022). He is a Contributing Editor to the online database Co-Authored Drama in Renaissance England, and is producing a critical edition of The Unnatural Tragedy for The Complete Works of Margaret Cavendish.

    Anna L. Hegland received her PhD from the University of Kent in 2022. Her research examines the intertwining of rhetoric and action in early modern English theatre during moments of staged violence, and combines textual and practice-based methods to think about enactment and embodiment then and now. Her work has been published in the British Shakespeare Association’s Teaching Shakespeare magazine and the edited collection Boundaries of Violence in Early Modern England (2023). She is a lecturer and advisor at Carthage College, Kenosha, Wisconsin, and serves as the social media coordinator for the Shakespeare Association of America.

    Sam Jermy received his PhD from the University of Leeds in 2022. His doctoral thesis, generously supported by the AHRC’s White Rose College of the Arts and Humanities, explored the ways in which masculinities are imagined, staged, articulated, and problematised as intersubjective in Middleton’s writings. He has also worked on a public-facing research project with the International Anthony Burgess Foundation on a series of Shakespeare lectures delivered by Burgess in 1973. He maintains an active research interest in the representations of violence, skin, and bruises on the early modern stage.