Thomas Middleton

Thomas Middleton, 1580–1627, English dramatist, b. London, grad. Queen's College, Oxford, 1598. His early plays were chiefly written in collaboration with Dekker, Drayton, and others. Between 1604 and 1611 he wrote realistic, satiric comedies of London life, including A Trick to Catch the Old One (c.1604), Michaelmas Term (c.1605), The Roaring Girl (c.1610, with Dekker), and A Chaste Maid in Cheapside (1611). His comedies, like his early pamphlets, expose contemporary vice and give graphic pictures of the more scabrous side of Jacobean life. During the years 1613 to 1618 he wrote tragicomedies. From 1621 to the end of his career he wrote his most notable plays, two powerful tragedies about the corruption of character, The Changeling (1622, with William Rowley,) and Women Beware Women (1625). Some modern scholarship suggests that he wrote a significant portion of Shakespeare's Timon of Athens (c.1607, pub. 1623). Middleton was severely reproved by the Privy Council for his anti-Spanish political satire, A Game at Chess (1624). In addition to his plays, he wrote civic pageants and masques.

See his works ed. by A. H. Bullen (8 vol., 1885–86); bibliography by S. J. Steen (1985); studies by C. Asp (1974) and A. L. Kistner (1984); B. Vickers, Shakespeare, Co-Author (2003).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Thomas Middleton: Selected full-text books and articles

Thomas Middleton, Renaissance Dramatist
Michelle O'Callaghan.
Edinburgh University Press, 2009
Society and Politics in the Plays of Thomas Middleton
Swapan Chakravorty.
Clarendon Press, 1996
Women Beware Women and Other Plays
Thomas Thomas Middleton; Richard Thomas Dutton.
Oxford University Press, 1999
A Mad World, My Masters: Michaelmas Term ; a Trick to Catch the Old One ; No Wit, No Help like a Woman's
Thomas Middleton; Michael Taylor.
Oxford University Press, 1995
Shakespeare's Contemporaries: Modern Studies in English Renaissance Drama
Max Bluestone; Norman Rabkin.
Prentice-Hall, 1961
Librarian’s tip: "Thomas Middleton and William Rowley: The Dramatic Structure of The Changeling" begins on p. 263
Venomous Woman: Fear of the Female in Literature
Margaret Hallissy.
Greenwood Press, 1987
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Thomas Middleton begins on p. 40
Jacobean Theatre
Edward Arnold, 1960
Librarian’s tip: Chap. VIII "Middleton's Experiments with Comedy and Judgement"
An Introduction to Stuart Drama
Frederick S. Boas.
Oxford University Press, 1946
Librarian’s tip: Chap. IX "Thomas Middleton-William Rowley: Dramas of Sex Complications"
Studies in the English Renaissance Drama
Josephine W. Bennett; Oscar Cargill; Vernon Hall Jr.
New York University Press, 1959
Librarian’s tip: "James I, Bacon, Middleton, and the Making of The Peace-Maker" begins on p. 82
The Jacobean Drama: An Interpretation
U. M. Ellis-Fermor.
Methuen, 1936
Librarian’s tip: Chap. VII "Thomas Middleton"
Prostitution in Elizabethan and Jacobean Comedy
Anne M. Haselkorn.
Whitston, 1983
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Thomas Middleton begins on p. 76
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