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