PREFACE

Early Editions of the Play. The Duchess of Malfi was first printed as a small Quarto, in 1623. It was reprinted, with some trifling variation, in 1640 and 1678. But, according to Dyce, the First Edition is 'by far the most correct of the Quartos.' It has been used, for purposes of collation with Dyce's text, in the preparation of the present volume. No Edition, subsequent to the first three, can claim any authority.

Life and other Works of Webster. In the second generation of Elizabethan dramatists, if the name Elizabethan may be given a wide meaning, there is no figure more marked than Webster's. Of his life we know little, and nothing of importance. His career as dramatist began in the closing years of the Queen's reign, and seems to have lasted through that of her Successor.2 Whether he lived on into the days of Charles I. is quite uncertain.1

____________________
1
See the question discussed by Dyce. Introduction, pp. xvi-xxix.
2
The following are the Plays, wholly or in part by Webster of which trace has come down to us:--
The Guise. [See Dedication to The Devil's Law-Case and Henslowe's Diary, p. 202: NOV. 1601.]
Cæsar's Fall. [Written in partnership with Munday, Drayton, Middleton, etc. Henslowes Diary, p. 221: May 1602.]
The Two Harpes (?) [Written In partnership with Munday, Drayton , Middleton, and Dekker. Henslowe Diary, p. 222: May 1602.]
Lady Jane. [Written in partnership with Chettle, Dekker, Heywood , and Smith; probably part of the first version of what was afterwards ( 1607) published as The Famous History of Sir Thomas Wyatt. Henslowe Diary, p. 242: Oct. 1602]

-v-

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  • Title Page i
  • Preface v
  • Dramatis PersonÆ xviii
  • Notes 146
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