Selected Middleton Publications

Middleton Publications

We eventually hope to expand this bibliography. For now, it includes only materials relevant to Middleton written or produced by the contributors to the Oxford Middleton.

David M. Bergeron

English Civic Pageantry 1558-1642. London: Edward Arnold, 1971; Columbia, SC: Univ. of South Carolina Press, 1971. “Thomas Middleton.”
This extensive study of civic pageants includes a chapter on Middleton’s Lord Mayor’s Shows.

English Civic Pageantry 1558-1642. revised edition. Tempe, AZ: Arizona State Medieval & Renaissance Texts and Studies, 2003. “Thomas Middleton.”

This offers a revised study of Middleton’s Lord Mayor’s Shows.

“The Emblematic Nature of English Civic Pageantry,” Renaissance Drama ns 1 (1968): 167-198. This article explores the use of emblem book material and ideas in the pageants and includes a discussion of Middleton’s Lord Mayor’s Shows, specifically the ones of 1613, 1617, and 1621.

“Venetian State Papers and English Civic Pageantry, 1558-1642,” Renaissance Quarterly 23 (1970): 37-47. This article examines the reports of the Venetian Ambassadors residing in London and includes a discussion of the report of Horatio Busino about Middleton’s 1617 Lord Mayor’s Show.

“Medieval Drama and Tudor-Stuart Civic Pageantry,” Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies 2 (1972): 279-293. This essay explores the connections between medieval drama and the later pageantry and includes a consideration of Middleton’s 1613 Lord Mayor’s Show.

“Civic Pageants and Historical Drama,” Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies 5 (1975): 89-105. This article focuses on the pageants’ use of history and discusses Middleton’s 1617, 1619, 1621, and 1623 Lord Mayor’s Shows.

“Middleton’s Moral Landscape: A Chaste Maid in Cheapside and The Triumphs of Truth,” in ‘Accompaninge the players’: Essays Celebrating Thomas Middleton, 1580-1980, ed. Kenneth Friedenreich. New York: AMS Press, 1983. 133-146. This essay explores the links between these two works of 1613 in terms of structure and moral ideas.

“Art within The Second Maiden’s Tragedy,” Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England 1 (1984): 173-186. This interpretation argues that the play represents an experiment on art within art, a rich self-reflexive quality of the play.

“Middleton’s No Wit, No Help and Civic Pageantry,” in Pageantry in the Shakespearean Theater, ed. David M. Bergeron. Athens, GA: Univ of Georgia Press, 1985. 65-80. In this play Middleton recalls the scene at the New World arch in the 1604 royal entry pageant for King James I for which he had written the principal speech.

“Representation in Renaissance English Civic Pageants,” Theatre Journal 40 (1988): 319-331. This article examines the methods and strategies of representation in the pageants and considers the 1604 royal entry pageant for which Middleton wrote.

“Thomas Middleton and Anthony Munday: Artistic Rivalry?” Studies in English Literature 36 (1996): 461-479. Reprinted, revised in David M. Bergeron, Practicing Renaissance Scholarship: Plays and Pageants, Patrons and Politics. Pittsburgh: Duquesne Univ. Press, 2000. 101-122. This article counters the idea, begun in nineteenth-century scholarship, that Middleton and Anthony Munday were bitter rivals.

“Stuart Civic Pageants and Textual Performance,” Renaissance Quarterly 51 (1998): 163-183. This article focuses on the nature and construction of pageant texts and includes discussion of Middleton’s 1613, 1617, 1619, and 1621 Lord Mayor’s Shows.

“Pageants, Masques, and Scholarly Ideology,” in David M. Bergeron, Practicing Renaissance Scholarship. Pittsburgh, PA: Duquesne Univ. Press, 2000. 164-192.
Using the 1604 royal entry pageant and the work of Stephen Harrison, this article explores the relative disregard of civic pageants in contrast to the scholarly attention lavished on court masques. The discussion includes attention to Middleton’s contribution to the pageant.

Ralph Alan Cohen

Director, Your Five Gallants, James Madison University (1991)

Celia R. Daileader

Eroticism on the Renaissance Stage: Transcendence, Desire, and the Limits of the
Visible. Cambridge University Press, 1998. Re-printed in paperback, 2006.
I frequently cite Middleton in this book; in particular, Chapters Two, Four, and Five present extensive readings of Women Beware Women, A Mad World, My Masters, and The Lady’s Tragedy.

“Back-door Sex: Renaissance Gynosodomy, Aretino, and the Exotic,” English Literary History 69.2 (Summer 2002): 303-334. Re-printed with modifications in Straight Writ Queer: Non-Normative Expressions of Heterosexuality in Literature, ed. Richard Fantina (McFarland, 2006): 25-45. This essay theorizes references to male-female sodomy in early modern English literature as occasions of Italianist exoticism; the works of Middleton feature prominently in the article.

“The Courtesan Re-visited: Thomas Middleton, Pietro Aretino, and Sex-phobic Criticism,” Remaking, Rethinking, Refashioning: Italian Culture in Early Modern English Drama, ed. Michele Marrapodi. Ashgate Press, 2007. This essay argues for the influence of Pietro Aretino’s Ragionimenti on Middleton’s A Mad World, My Masters; it also makes the case for Middleton’s feminism in this and other plays.

“Re-writing Rape, Re-raping Rites: Shakespeare’s and Middleton’s Lucrece Poems.” Accepted for publication in the anthology, Violence, Politics, and Sexuality, ed. Joseph Patrick Ward. Palgrave: forthcoming. This essay contrasts Shakespeare’s (misogynistic) and Middleton’s (feminist) treatment of raped women.

Suzanne Gossett


“Editing Collaborated Drama,” Shakespeare Survey 59 (2006): 213-224.
Concerns the practical issues of editing plays that have, or are alleged to have, more than one author, and concerns among others A Fair Quarrel and The Spanish Gypsy.

“Major/Minor, Main Plot/Subplot, Middleton/and,” The Elizabethan Theatre XV, ed. C.E.
McGee and A. L. Magnusson (P.E.Meany, 2002): 21-38.
Argues that “hierarchical rankings and presuppositions about collaboration collapse before the complex details and variable methods found in the plays collectively known as Middleton’s,” and is especially concerned with the Middleton-Rowley collaborations.

MacDonald P. Jackson

Studies in Attribution: Middleton and Shakespeare (Salzburg: University of Salzburg, 1979).
Along with the work of David J. Lake, this book completely revised
Middleton’s dramatic canon as understood by Dyce and Bullen, adding The Puritan,The Revenger’s Tragedy, The Lady’s Tragedy, and A Nice Valour, reassigning Blurt Master Constable to Dekker, rejecting The Family of Love as non-Middletonian, advancing new evidence for Middleton’s part-authorship of Timon of Athens, and establishing his shares in other collaborative plays.

‘Compositorial Practices in The Revenger’s Tragedy, 1607–08’, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 75 (1981), 157–70.
A bibliographical analysis of the quarto, which showed that it was set by two compositors, and that Middleton’s orthographical markers appear within both men’s stints.

‘An Allusion to Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta in and Early Seventeenhth-Century Pamphlet Possibly by Thomas Middleton’, Notes and Queries, 226 (1982), 132–3.
Proposed Middleton as likely author of Plato’s Cap.

Editor, ‘The Revenger’s Tragedy’: Attributed to Thomas Middleton: A Facsimile of the 1607/8 Quarto (East Brunswick, London, Toronto: Associated University Presses, 1983).
A facsimile edition with a long, thoroughly documented introduction, discussing matters of text, date, and source material, and outlining at length the case for Middleton’s authorship of the play, which had been widely atrtributed to Cyril Tourneur. This was the first ever edition of The Revenger’s Tragedy to have Middleton’s name on the cover and title page.

‘The Additions to The Second Maiden’s Tragedy: Shakespeare or Middleton?’, Shakespeare Quarterly, 41 (1990), 402–5.
Argued against a proposal that some of the material added to the manuscript of The Lady’s Tragedy was by Shakespeare. Provided evidence that it was, like the rest of the play, by Middleton.

‘Editing, Attribution Studies, and “Literature Online”: A New Resource for Research in Renaissance Drama’, Research Opportunities in Renaissance Drama, 12 (1998), 1–15.
Includes a demonstration of the efficacy of ‘Literature Online’ searches in confirming the significance for attribution studies of certain ‘Middleton markers.

With Gary Taylor and Paul Mulholland, ‘Thomas Middleton, Lording Barry and The Family of Love’, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 93 (1999), 213–41.
Argues for Lording Barry’s sole authorship of The Family of Love, long ascribed to Middleton.

‘Anything for a Quiet Life, IV.ii.1–44: The Hazards of Collaboration’, Notes and Queries, 250 (2006), 87–90.
Discusses a passage in this Middleton–Webster collaboration that has usually been attributed to Webster. Shows that it is by Middleton, and examines a failure of coordination between the two playwrights at the point where their contributions joined.

Editor, with David Gunby and David Carnegie, The Works of John Webster: Volume Three (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007).
Includes an old-spelling edition—with full textual apparatus, introductions, and commentary—of Anything for a Quiet Life, a comedy written by Middleton and Webster in collaboration.

Review of The Art of Thomas Middleton: A Critical Study, by David M. Holmes. AUMLA: The Journal of the Australasian Universities Language and Literature Association, 36 (1971), 227-30.

Review of The Canon of Thomas Middleton’s Plays, by David J. Lake. Journal of English and Germanic Philology, 75 (1976), 414–17.

John Jowett

‘From Print to Performance: Looking at the Masque in Timon of Athens’, in From Performance to Print in Shakespeare’s England, ed. Peter Holland and Stephen Orgel (Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006), 73-91.
Examines the Folio text to generate a visual semiotics of a Middleton scene—and to interrogate the very basis for reading the theatrical and the visual from a printed text.

Timon of Athens, ed. John Jowett (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).
The first edition to present the play as a collaboration between Shakespeare and Middleton.

‘Timon and Mining’, SEDERI 14 (2004), 77-92.
Discusses the motifs of gold, money, and the extraction of wealth from the ground, with reference to the issue of authorial collaboration.

‘The Pattern of Collaboration in Timon of Athens’, in Words That Count: Early Modern Authorship, ed. Brian Boyd (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2004), 181-205.
Based on author attribution techniques, the essay builds up a picture of co-authorship between Shakespeare and Middleton as a complex and dialogic process.

‘Middleton and Debt in Timon of Athens’, in Money and the Age of Shakespeare, ed. Linda Woodbridge (New York and Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), 219-35.
Argues that the treatment of financial debt in the play has a distinctly Middletonian complexion.

‘Addressing Adaptation: Measure for Measure and Sir Thomas More’, in Textual Performances: The Modern Reproduction of Shakespeare’s Drama, edited by Lukas Erne and M.J. Kidnie (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), 63-76.
The section on Measure for Measure explains the editorial presentation of the play in Middleton’s Collected Works.

Review of Herbert Jack Heller, Pentitent Brothellers: Grace, Sexuality, and Genre in Thomas Middleton’s City Comedies (2000), in Modern Language Review 98 (2003), pp. 201-2.

‘Thomas Middleton’, in A Companion to Renaissance Drama, ed. Arthur F. Kinney (Oxford and Malden, Mass.: Blackwell, 2002), 507-23.
An overview, covering issues of canon, stagecraft, and language, along with thematic points of focus in Middleton’s works.

‘The Audacity of Measure for Measure in 1621’, Ben Jonson Journal 8 (2001), 229-47; also online at http://www.geocities.com/benjonsonjournal/bjj8-jowett.html. Examines the political context of the Middleton revival.

‘Pre-Editorial Criticism and the Space for Editing: Examples from Richard III and Your Five Gallants’, in Problems of Editing, ed. Christa Jansohn, special issue of Editio (1999), 127-49.
The section on Your Five Gallants underpins the editing of the play in the Collected Works, making radical new proposals as to the play’s theatrical structure.

Gary Taylor and John Jowett, Shakespeare Reshaped, 1606-1623 (Oxford: Clarendon, 1993; reprinted 1997).
Includes ‘With New Additions’, Jowett and Taylor’s primary statement of Middleton’s involvement with the adapted Folio text.

‘Middleton’s Song of Cupid’, Notes and Queries 239 (1994), 66-70.
Relates the song in Chaste Maid and More Dissemblers to Middleton’s lost Masque of Cupids, considering the surviving printed and manuscript texts of the song in relation to its history of performance on stage.

‘Middleton’s No Wit at the Fortune’, Renaissance Drama, New Series, 22 (1991), 191-208.
An analysis of the text that separates out the features relating to James Shirley’s revival from the original staging at the Fortune theatre.

Theodore B. Leinwand

“Redeeming Beggary/Buggery in Michaelmas Term,” ELH 61 (1994) 53-70.
Explores confusing social and erotic relations in this play.

Theatre, Finance and Society in Early Modern England (Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1999), pp. 55-60.
Discusses affect attendant upon indebtedness in Michaelmas Term.

Kate D. Levin

Director, A Chaste Maid in Cheapside (CCNY, Spring 1998)

Director, Women Beware Women, by Thomas Middleton (U.C. Berkeley, Fall 1991)

Jeffrey Masten

“Family Values: Euthanasia, Editing, and The Old Law.” Textual Practice 9.3 (1995): 445-458.
Arguing that an understanding of seventeenth-century patriarchalism is central to The Old Law, the essay shows how a series of early marginal corrections of an important textual crux in the earliest printed text of the play influence the editorial choices available for the play and the play’s outcome. These editorial choices in turn inflect a reader’s understanding of the governmental and familial politics of the play, whether early in the seventeenth century, during the Interregnum when it was published, or in a modern edition.

Marion O’Connor

“Snakeskins, Mirrors and Torches: Theatrical Iconography and Middleton’s The Witch.”
Research Opportunities in Renaissance Drama, vol XLI (2002), 15-28.
This essay considers moments in The Witch when adherence to stage directions (whether explicit or implicit) produces three-dimensional onstage images which realise verbal texts and/or two-dimensional images in handbooks of moral emblems.

Gary Taylor

Buying Whiteness: Race, Culture, and Identity from Columbus to Hip Hop (Palgrave, 2005). Chapter 5 (“Popular Whiteness”) identifies The Triumphs of Truth (1613) and A Game at Chess (1624) as the earliest popular texts to use the adjective “white” in something close to its modern racial sense.

Director, The Widow, Georgia Shakespeare Festival (rehearsed public reading), 2001

Castration: An Abbreviated History of Western Manhood (Routledge, 2000).
Argues that Freud’s theories about castration in particular, and male sexuality more generally, were anachronistic, and that Middleton represents better than any other writer a major historical shift in Western conceptions of the sexed body.

Cultural Selection (Basic Books, 1996).
Develops a theory of the mechanism of cultural memory and competition, which among other things explains why Shakespeare was canonized and Middleton was not.

Gary Taylor and John Jowett, Shakespeare Reshaped 1606-1623 (Oxford: Clarendon, 1993).
The bulk of this book (co-written with Jowett) provides extensive evidence that Middleton was responsible for adapting Measure for Measure after Shakespeare’s death; other chapters discuss act intervals in early modern London (including Middleton examples) and theatrical censorship of profanity (including expurgation in Measure for Measure).

“Thomas Middleton, The Spanish Gypsy, and Multiple Collaboration,” in Words That Count: Essays on Early Modern Authorship, ed. Brian Boyd (University of Delaware Press, 2004), 241-73.
Provides evidence that Gypsy was written by four collaborators: Middleton, Rowley, Dekker, and Ford.

“Shakespeare’s Mediterranean Measure for Measure”, in Shakespeare and the Mediterranean: The Selected Proceedings of the International Shakespeare Association World Congress, Valencia, 2001, ed. Tom Clayton, Susan Brock, and Vicente Forés (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2004), 243-69.
Provides evidence that Middleton was responsible for changing the setting of Measure for Measure from an Italian city (probably Ferrara) to Vienna.

“Thomas Middleton”, in The New Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004).
Takes account of a century of biographical scholarship on Middleton since the first DNB article on Middleton was written.

“Middleton and Rowley–and Heywood: The Old Law and New Technologies of Attribution,” Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 96 (2002), 165-217. Identifies the third author in Old Law as Heywood, not Massinger.

“Power, Pathos, Character,” in Harold Bloom and the Interpretation of Shakespeare, ed. Christy Desmet and Robert Sawyer (New York: Palgrave, 2001), 43-64.
Discusses the problem of canonical and critical authority from the perspective of the treatment of free speech and slander in Shakespeare and Middleton.

“Thomas Middleton, The Nice Valour, and the Court of James I,” The Court Historian, VI (2001), 1-36.
Argues that the play was written in 1622, and that its characters and plot are influenced by events associated with the beginning of the Thirty Years’ War.

“Divine [ ]sences,” Shakespeare Survey 54 (Cambridge University Press, 2001), 13-30. Contrasts the representation of God in Shakespeare and Middleton.

“Gender, Hunger, Horror: The History and Significance of The Bloody Banquet,” Journal of Early Modern Cultural Studies, 1 (2001), 1-45.
Provides evidence that the play was written in 1608 or 1609, and interprets its representation of cannibalism and female sexuality in relation to a larger theory of “the Edible Complex”.

“Thomas Middleton, Thomas Dekker, and The Bloody Banquet,” Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 94 (2000), 197-233.
Provides extensive new evidence that the play was written by Middleton and Dekker, and that the extant text represents a later abridgement and adaptation of the original.

“c:\wp\file.txt 05:41 10-07-98”, in The Renaissance Text: Theory, History, Editing, ed. Andrew Murphy (Manchester University Press, 2000), 44-54.
Taking specific examples from Shakespeare and Middleton, this essay analyzes the implications for editing (and for cultural history more generally) of the shift from a text-based to a file-based society.

Gary Taylor, Paul Mulholland, and MacD. P. Jackson, “Thomas Middleton, Lording Barry, and The Family of Love”, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 93 (1999), 213-242.
Identifies Barry as sole author of the play, and dates in c. 1605.

“Feeling Bodies”, in Shakespeare in the Twentieth Century: Proceedings of the Sixth World Shakespeare Congress, ed. Jonathan Bate et al. (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1998), 258-79.
Argues that Shakespeare and Middleton exemplify an historic “routinized commodification of affect” in early modern London.

“Judgement”, in New Ways of Looking at Old Texts: Papers of the English Renaissance Text Society, ed. W. Speed Hill (Renaissance English Text Society, 1998), 91-100. Argues that editing, criticism, and life cannot avoid judgments of value, illustrating ten propositions with examples from Shakespeare and Middleton.

“Forms of Opposition: Shakespeare and Middleton”, English Literary Renaissance, 24 (1994), 283-314.
Argues that Shakespeare (from the perspective of Catholic nostalgia) and Middleton (from the perspective of opposition Calvinism) both resisted, in different ways, the political authorities and dominant ideologies of their time.

“Farrago”, Textual Practice, 8 (1994), 33-42.
A theory of editing based on the non-uniformity of texts, books, canons, and authors.

“Bardicide,” in Shakespeare and Cultural Traditions: Proceedings of the Fifth World Shakespeare Congress, ed. Roger Pringle et al (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1994), 333-49.
Discusses the death of poets and the relationship between poetry and popular culture, contrasting Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar with various works by Middleton, including particularly Father Hubburd’s Tales.

“The Renaissance and the End of Editing”, in Palimpsest: Textual Theory and the Humanities, ed. George Bornstein and Ralph G. Williams (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1993), 121-50.
Argues that every theory of editing is a theory of intertextuality, that the models of textual space provided by Derrida and Foucault are deeply flawed, and that modernist Anglo-American theories of editing have been warped by generalizing the peculiar conditions of the Shakespeare canon; contrasts models based on Shakespeare with those that might be based on Middleton.

Valerie Wayne

“Assuming Gentility: Thomas Middleton, Mary Carleton and Aphra Behn.” Women and Politics in Early Modern England, 1450-1700. Ed. James Daybell. Aldershot, England: Ashgate Publishing, 2004. 243-56.

This essay compares three texts that represent a woman’s imitation of a gentle status she was not born to but has the ability to perform so convincingly that men are duped into marrying her: Middleton’s A Trick to Catch the Old One, The Case of Mary Carleton, and Behn’s The City Heiress, It also relates the “transnaturing” power of clothing and textual identities to the lives of Middleton, Carleton, and Behn.

“The Sexual Politics of Textual Transmission.” Textual Formations and Reformations. Ed. Laurie E. Maguire and Thomas L. Berger. Delaware: University of Delaware Press, 1998. 179-210.

This essay calls attention to gendered processes of textual transmission by exploring compositorial errors among early editions of Edmund Tilney’s The Flower of Friendship, textual cruces and editorial choices in The Tempest and Othello, and problems of speech tags, commentary, and stage directions as they relate to prostitution, slander, rape, and the law in Middleton’s A Trick to Catch the Old One. It explains the reasons for changing the speech tag from “Courtesan” to “Jane” in the play’s edition for the Oxford Collected Works.

Stanley Wells

“Thomas Middleton and Shakespeare”, in Stanley Wells, Shakespeare & Co (London, Allen Lane Press, 2006; New York, Pantheon, 2007), pp. 167-193.
An overview of Middleton’s career with special reference to his links with Shakespeare.