Since its first appearance in 1808, this collection of extracts from Elizabethan and Jacobean drama has been highly acclaimed; the twentieth-century critic Edmund Blunden considered it 'the most striking anthology perhaps ever made from English literature'. In compiling the work, the critic and essayist Charles Lamb (1775-1834) aimed to achieve two goals: to illustrate the greatness of Shakespeare's often forgotten contemporaries, and to explore the way in which sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Englishmen experienced emotion. He includes only those scenes which he judges to show the best poetry and the deepest passion, adding only brief notes to let the texts speak for themselves. This reissue is of the expanded two-volume edition of 1835. Including extracts from Kyd, Marlowe, Jonson, Massinger, Fletcher and Shirley, among others, along with scenes from a host of seventeenth-century plays by lesser-known authors, these volumes remain a rich resource for literature students.
Table of Contents
Volume 1: Preface; Table of reference to the extracts; Thomas Sackville and Thomas Norton; Thomas Kyd; George Peele; Christopher Marlowe; Robert Tailor; Anthony Brewer; Authors uncertain; Joseph Cooke; Thomas Decker; Thomas Decker and John Webster; John Marston; George Chapman; Thomas Heywood; Thomas Heywood and Richard Broome; Thomas Middleton and William Rowley; William Rowley; Thomas Middleton; William Rowley, Thomas Decker, John Ford &c.; Cyril Tourneur; John Webster; John Ford; Samuel Daniel; Fulke Greville; Ben Jonson; Francis Beaumont. Volume 2: Table of reference to the extracts; Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher; John Fletcher; Philip Massinger; Philip Massinger and Thomas Decker; Philip Massinger and Nathaniel Field; Philip Massinger, Thomas Middleton, and William Rowley; George Chapman and James Shirley; James Shirley; Extracts from the Garrick plays.