Phillip Massinger

Philip Massinger (măs´ənjər), 1583–1640, English dramatist, b. Salisbury. He studied at Oxford (1602–6) but left without a degree, apparently to go to London to write plays. A prolific writer, Massinger wrote more than 40 plays (often in collaboration). He is best known for the comedies A New Way to Pay Old Debts (1625) and The City Madam (1632), in which the gluttony of the two central characters leads to tragic consequences. His other extant works, most of which were produced between 1620 and 1630, include the romantic dramas The Duke of Milan and The Great Duke of Florence and the tragicomedies The Fatal Dowry (with Nathaniel Field), The Virgin Martyr (with Thomas Dekker), and The Bondman. A sober, meticulous writer, Massinger was a harsh moralist and frequently employed humor characters to illustrate the evils of a frivolous and avaricious society.

See studies by A. H. Cruickshank (1920, repr. 1971), T. A. Dunn (1957), D. Howard (1985), and D. Adler (1987).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Phillip Massinger: Selected full-text books and articles

Massinger: The Critical Heritage By Martin Garrett Routledge, 1991
The City Madam By Philip Massinger; Cyrus Henry Hoy University of Nebraska (Lincoln campus), 1964
The Bondman: An Antient Storie By Philip C. Massinger; Benjamin Townley Spencer; Charles Phelps Taft Memorial Fund, University of Cincinnati Graduate School Princeton University Press, 1932
Philip Massinger's the Unnatural Combat By Robert Stockdale Telfer The Princeton University Press, 1932
FREE! The Chief Elizabethan Dramatists, Excluding Shakespeare By William Allan Neilson Houghton Mifflin, 1911
Librarian’s tip: "A New Way to Pay Old Debts" begins on p. 741 and "Philip Massinger" begins on p. 873
An Introduction to Stuart Drama By Frederick S. Boas Oxford University Press, 1946
Librarian’s tip: Chap. XII "John Fletcher and Philip Massinger" and Chap. XIII "Philip Massinger--Nathan Field"
Three Turk Plays from Early Modern England: Selimus, a Christian Turned Turk, and the Renegado By Daniel J. Vitkus Columbia University Press, 2000
Librarian’s tip: "The Renegado" by Philip Massinger begins on p. 39 and p. 241
Shakespeare's Contemporaries: Modern Studies in English Renaissance Drama By Max Bluestone; Norman Rabkin Prentice-Hall, 1961
Librarian’s tip: "Philip Massinger: Social Morality in A New Way to Pay Old Debts" begins on p. 273
FREE! A History of English Dramatic Literature to the Death of Queen Anne By Adolphus William Ward Macmillan & Co., vol.3, 1899
Librarian’s tip: Chap. VIII "The End of the Old Drama"
Elizabethan Playwrights: A Short History of the English Drama from Medieval Times to the Closing of the Theatres in 1642 By Felix E. Schelling Harper & Brothers, 1925
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Philip Massinger begins on p. 256
FREE! The Jacobean Poets By Edmund Gosse C Scribners sons, 1894
Librarian’s tip: Chap. X "Philip Massinger"
FREE! English Tragicomedy: Its Origin and History By Frank Humphrey Ristine Columbia University Press, 1910
Librarian’s tip: Chap. V "The Hey Day of English Tragicomedy (1610 to 1642)"
Poetic Drama: An Anthology of Plays in Verse from the Ancient Greek to the Modern American By Alfred Kreymborg Modern Age Books, 1941
Librarian’s tip: "Preface to A New Way to Pay New Debts" begins on p. 340
The Renaissance Englishwoman in Print: Counterbalancing the Canon By Anne M. Haselkorn; Betty S. Travitsky University of Massachusetts Press, 1990
Librarian’s tip: "The Power of Integrity in Massinger's Women" begins on p. 63
A Literary History of England By Albert C. Baugh Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1948
Librarian’s tip: "Caroline Drama, 1625-1642" begins on p. 578
FREE! Representative English Comedies By Charles Mills Gayley The Macmillan Company, vol.3, 1913
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