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The Cambridge Introduction to Christopher Marlowe
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Providing a comprehensive survey of Christopher Marlowe's literary career, this Introduction presents an approachable account of the life, works and influence of the groundbreaking Elizabethan dramatist and poet. It includes in-depth discussions of all of Marlowe's plays, stressing what was new and revolutionary about them as well as how they made use of existing dramatic models. Marlowe's poems and translations, sometimes marginalized in discussions of his work, are analyzed to emphasize their literary importance and political resonances. The book presents a balanced discussion of Marlowe's turbulent life and considers his afterlives: the influence of his work on other writers and examples of how his plays have been performed. In addition to introducing the reader to the historical and religious contexts within which Marlowe wrote, the Introduction stresses the qualities that continue to make his work fascinating: intellectual range, radical irony and an awareness of the dangerously compelling power of theater.

Contents

Preface; Key dates; 1. Life and historical contexts; 2. Tamburlaine, Parts One and Two; 3. Doctor Faustus; 4. The Jew of Malta and The Massacre at Paris; 5. Edward II; 6. Dido, Queen of Carthage and Marlowe's poetry; 7. Marlowe's afterlives; Bibliography.

Reviews

"… I have found this book a model of excellence in its scholarship, intelligence, and suggestiveness. It is remarkably fresh in the focus of each chapter, wide-ranging in scope, flexible and detailed in supplying illuminating contexts, and thoroughly engaging in the persuasive candor of its well-supported observations. I recommend it without reservation."
Marlowe Society of America Newsletter

"… a short, engaging book targeted at students, teachers and lecturers. It covers familiar territory (the life and works of Marlowe) in an original way by combining a historical approach, an interest in performance and reader-response, and illuminating close readings of some passages of the plays and poems. Rutter’s information is always precise and every statement is traced back to a primary source (letters, Privy Council reports, the Baines note, plays by other dramatists...) The book is also well documented: Rutter is aware of much of the recent criticism on Marlowe’s life and works and he is also well informed on the history of theatre companies and on studies on gender and sexuality in early modern England, but he quotes his sources only sparsely, saving his reader from an ostentatious display of knowledge not fitted to this kind of work. Another strength of this book is the clarity and elegance of the exposition."
Cercles: Revue pluridisciplinaire du monde anglophone

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