Revenge of the Book Club

Some time ago, I abandoned the regular discussion of  selected books.  The reason should have been obvious.  One of the participants preferred to find a reason to pick quarrels and make insulting remarks.  He has departed, and we can resume.  Working on the second volume of Properties of Blood, I need to rewrite the chapters on revenge.  This is a good occasion for looking at the classic work of the English stage, The Revenger's Tragedy, which used to be attributed to Cyril Tourneur or occasionally to Thomas Middleton, and is now universally ascribed to Middleton, a dramatist much admired by T.S. Eliot. has a 19th century text online, attributed to Tourneur.  The standard new edition, which I have, I find of little help and much academic nonsense, but when I find anything worth repeating, I'll  offer it.

Middleton, I think you will find, is a good deal easier to read than Shakespeare, but feel free to indicate puzzling passages.  It is not a very long play, so it will not take a great deal of time.

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Thomas Fleming

Thomas Fleming is president of the Fleming Foundation. He is the author of six books, including The Morality of Everyday Life and The Politics of Human Nature, as well as many articles and columns for newspapers, magazines,and learned journals. He holds a Ph.D. in Classics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a B.A. in Greek from the College of Charleston. He served as editor of Chronicles: a Magazine of American Culture from 1984 to 2015 and president of The Rockford Institute from 1997-2014. In a previous life he taught classics at several colleges and served as a school headmaster in South Carolina

6 Responses

  1. Dom says:

    Looking forward to this. Thank you!

  2. Dom says:

    Being a hardcopy sort of fellow, I went online to find a copy. There is a Revenger’s Tragedy listed in various places — is this the same thing?

  3. Avatar photo Thomas Fleming says:

    Most probably. The title is in fact The Revenger’s Tragedy. They will list it as either by Middleton or Tourneur. It is included in anthologies of Jacobean drama and revenge drama. There is a student edition with notes on ABE for $4.39.

  4. Raymond Olson says:

    Dom–Yes, it is the same. It has also been called The Loyal Brother, according to the note in my old Mermaid Dramabook paperback edition, Webster and Tourneur (1956).

  5. Avatar photo Thomas Fleming says:

    I’ll post a very brief introduction in a few days, and then perhaps go act by act. For the next book, I was considering Charles Williams’ Christian thriller, All Hallows Eve, then something by Xenophon–the Anabasis, the Oecnomicus, or the Hellenica. I shall also consider suggestions.