More widely studied and more frequently performed than ever before, John Webster's "The Duchess of Malfi" is here presented in an accessible and thoroughly up-to-date edition. Based on the often reprinted Revels plays edition of 1964, the notes have been augmented to cast further light on Webster's amazing dialogue and on the stage action which it implies. An entirely new introduction sets the tragedy in the context of pre Civil War England and gives a revealing view of its themes, action and visual imagery. From its well-documented early performances to the two productions seen in the West End of London in the 1995-96 season, a stage history gives an account of the play in performance. Students, actors, directors and theatre-goers will find here a reappraisal of Webster's artistry in the tragedy which stands in the very first rank of plays from perhaps the greatest age of English theatre, and reasons why it has lived on stage with renewed force in the last decades of the twentieth century.
John Russell Brown is Professor of Theatre at the University of Michigan, Ann Abor, USA -- .