John Webster and the Elizabethan Drama - Edward Howard Marsh, Rupert Brooke

This is not really a review.

I started reading Brooke’s “dissertation” on John Webster and Elizabethan drama a few weeks ago after The Duchess of Malfi left quite an impression on me but somehow got sidetracked by a lot of other books since. Not sure how that happens…

Anyway, I thought I’d share some pictures of the actual copy I have on loan from my city’s library because it very much encapsulates why I love our library.

So, here we have it. A 1916 edition of Rupert Brooke’s work (written in 1913) that gained him a fellowship at King’s College (Cambridge).

I am not sure when the last time was that someone borrowed the book, but the fact that I actually can borrow a book printed in 1916 to take home and adore for a few weeks is enough for me to say that libraries are awesome. There are countless other reasons of course.

I don’t even mind the scribbles that previous readers have left. Yes, these people deserve a stern talking to and should really reflect on their shortcomings as readers, but some of the comments do crack me up.

As for the contents… It has been an interesting place to start reading about Webster and to add other points of view on Elizabethan theatre in general, but Brooke was a poet and this comes across in this work. His focus is on structure, style and on the realisation of emotive expression through the medium of dramatic speech rather than on content or context of Webster’s plays, both of which would have been of more interest to me.


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