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. Gutenberg.org 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.
Looking forward to this. Thank you!
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?
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.
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).
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.