Continuum Renaissance Drama Guides

Plays

1 Henry IV

Bloomsbury Publishing

This Critical Guide demonstrates why Shakespeare's drama about the education of a prince remains such a "renewable resource" for both schools and universities. Its impressive contributors show there is a perfect match between 1 Henry IV and the educational aims of the Continuum Renaissance Drama series. In a chain of ingeniously linked essays, they reveal how the play poses questions about multiculturalism, role play, history, generational conflict, and the control of the media that are as pressing today as in 1597. So this sophisticated Guide illustrates how Shakespeare does not simply serve modern education, but in deep, sometimes disturbing ways, teaches the teachers.

Doctor Faustus

Bloomsbury Publishing

Doctor Faustus, is Christopher Marlowe's most popular play and is often seen as one of the overwhelming triumphs of the English Renaissance. It has had a rich and varied critical history often arousing violent critical controversy.

This guide offers students an introduction to its critical and performance history, surveying notable stage productions from its initial performance in 1594 to the present and including TV, audio and cinematic versions. It includes a keynote chapter outlining major areas of current research on the play and four new critical essays. Finally, a guide to critical, web-based and production-related resources and an annotated biography provide a basis for further individual research.

"This volume represents much of the star power in Marlowe Studies over recent decades, including three past presidents of the Marlowe Society of America along with two current officers. Readers may be assured that the scholarly assessments in this volume are well informed, judicious, insightful, and forward-looking." - Roslyn L. Knutson, Professor Emerita, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, USA; President, Marlowe Society of America

"This wide-ranging book provides food for thought for readers of all levels: it helps orient the beginner with useful surveys of the critical territory and it caters to more advanced readers with stimulating scholarly essays on topics such as postcolonialism, print culture and the occult. Andrew Duxfield approaches Renaissance hermeticism in an admirably clear and user-friendly way; Georgia Brown imaginatively examines writing/printing as both a context for and a theme of the play; and Andrew Hartley's experience of directing Dr Faustus provides brilliant and pithy insights about the play's theatricality and applicability to audiences and readers today. There are extensive (and helpfully annotated) reading lists to guide all readers through the critical maze. Every chapter is full of useful information and observations. This is a valuable addition to the library of every school or university - and to the bookcase of every student." - Laurie Maguire, Professor of English, University of Oxford, UK

"Doctor Faustus: A Critical Guide offers meticulously detailed and lucid overviews of the vexed textual, critical, and performance history of Marlowe's most widely read and performed play, devoting an entire chapter to recent trends in scholarship and interpretation. For these reasons, and because of its deliberate emphasis on the relatively neglected area of performance studies of Doctor Faustus, it is an exceptionally ambitious and valuable work." - Constance Brown Kuriyama, Professor of English, Texas Tech University, USA

"Scholars of English literature introduce students to some features of the play written by British playwright Christopher Marlowe (1564-93) in 1588, the year of the Spanish Armada. They cover the critical backstory, the performance history, current critical research, Renaissance hermeticism, imperialism as devilry in a postcolonial reading, staging Faustus on campus, and the other black arts of printing and writing. A final chapter surveys resources." -Eithne O'Leyne, BOOK NEWS, Inc.

This guide offers a clear picture of the critical landscape of past and current scholarly research on Doctor Faustus, both textual and performative... the volume is a useful resource for students and for scholars who are either just beginning their research or interested in surveying the various rudimentary critical scholarship of the day.

'[This book] aiming to be useful to teachers and students, views the play from varied perspectives. Starting with a useful "Timeline," which begins with Marlowe's life and continues to the present, cataloguing significant stage and publication history, it includes an introduction and eight chapters.'-The Shakespeare Newsletter

The guide serves a dual purpose, offering on the one hand survey chapters detailing the critical and

performance heritage, current critical trends, and available resources, and on the other, four 'New Directions' chapters which engage in original critical and contextual analysis of the play. Deats's introduction, as well as providing an overview of the volume's contents, offers the reader a grounding in the play's historical and literary sources and a broad account of the critical divide between orthodox moralistic and tragic heroic interpretations of the play. Years Work in English Studies, vol 91, no 1, 2012

The Duchess of Malfi

Bloomsbury Publishing

John Webster's classic revenge tragedy The Duchess of Malfi was first performed in 1613 and published in 1623. This guide offers students an introduction to its critical and performance history, including recent versions on stage and screen. It includes a keynote chapter outlining major areas of current research on the play and four new critical essays presenting new critical positions that offer divergent perspectives on Webster's religio-political allegiances and the politics and gendering of secrecy in the play. Finally, a guide to critical, web-based and production-related resources and an annotated bibliography provide a basis for further individual research.

'This book will be invaluable to anyone teaching this extraordinary play. The essays in the volume furnish detailed investigations of historical contexts and illuminating readings of the play while guiding the reader toward other relevant scholarship. I will certainly have it to hand the next time I teach The Duchess.'

Luckyj's extremely comprehensive and varied collection of essays will ensure that no teacher of the play need feel that they are going into a wilderness.

This new collection offers a dense, yet surprisingly easy-to-digest survey of literature that I would recommend to any person teaching or researching Webster. Sixteenth Century Journal

'Tis Pity She's A Whore

Bloomsbury Publishing

John Ford's tragedy 'Tis Pity She's A Whore was first performed between 1629 and 1633 and since then its themes of incest, love versus duty and forbidden passion have made it a widely studied and performed, if controversial, play.

This guide offers students an introduction to its critical and performance history, including TV and film adaptations. It includes a keynote chapter outlining major areas of current research on the play and four new critical essays. Finally, a guide to critical, web-based and production-related resources and an annotated bibliography provide a basis for further individual research.

"A collection of many fine critical insights, these new essays should fuel discussion of 'Tis Pity for years to come." - Richard Abrams, Department of English, University of Southern Maine, USA

"Lisa Hopkins has long been an outstanding authority on John Ford. In this excellent critical guide she provides an accessible introduction, which lays out the complexities of classifying both Ford and his plays, a critical backstory of 'Tis Pity, which includes the reworking of aspects of the play in fiction and film, and an engaging essay on the social and civic use of Ford's stage. She has also collected a range of stimulating essays by accomplished academics that tackle some of the dominant issues of the period in original ways: incest, anatomy, and the survival of prohibited Catholic beliefs and practices in Protestant England. The volume also effectively summarises scholarship of the play since C17, its performance history, and recent critical research and theoretical approaches. The collection is particularly innovative in its inclusion of teaching resources and the variety of ways 'Tis Pity has been incorporated into university syllabi throughout the world. This is an essential text for anyone studying or teaching 'Tis Pity She's a Whore." - Professor Robyn Bolam, St Mary's University College, UK

"A noted authority on dramatist John Ford, editor Hopkins has assembled an outstanding collection of essays dealing with Ford's famous tragedy 'Tis Pity She's A Whore. Contributors summarize the performance history of the play since it was first preformed almost 400 years ago, and deal with issues the play raises, including incest, anatomy, and the survival of banned Catholic beliefs and practices in Protestant England. The editor herself contributes a critical backstory, which looks at how aspects of the play have been reworked in fiction and film, as well as an engaging essay on the social and civic use of Ford's stage." -Eithne O'Leyne, BOOK NEWS, Inc.

Continuum Renaissance Drama offers practical and accessible introductions to the critical and performative contexts of key Elizabethan and Jacobean plays. Each guide introduces the text's critical and performance history but also provides students with an invaluable insight into the landscape of current scholarly research through a keynote essay on the state of the art and newly commissioned essays of fresh research from different critical perspectives.