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The Penn Press list for spring 2021 includes hardcover releases, first-time paperbacks, and ebook editions intended for scholars, students, and serious general readers worldwide. Click here to explore our forthcoming books, grouped by subject area.

A Study of Cyril Tourneur

Peter B. Murray

280 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/4
Ebook 2016 | ISBN 9781512804843 | Buy from De Gruyter $79.95 | €69.95 | £70.50
This book is available under special arrangement from our European publishing partner De Gruyter.
An Anniversary Collection volume
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Cyril Tourneur was a significant Jacobean poet and dramatist, yet until now there has been now full scale interpretation of his works. Critics have perhaps hesitated to undertake such a study because much of Tourneur's writing has been regarded as neurotic self-expression rather than art, and almost nothing is known of his life. In this penetrating study, however, Peter B. Murray analyzes the art and relates them to the artistic conventions and the thought of their day. Murray finds that Tourneur was not a neurotic but an objective, artistic craftsman. In both techniques and themes, Tourneur emerges as a defender of Elizabethan ideals—a follower of Spenser and Shakespeare and a supporter of the Anglican center against the extremes of Puritanism and atheism.

In his study of The Revenger's Tragedy, commonly attributed to Tourneur, Murray turns up new and possibly conclusive linguistic evidence that the play was written by Thomas Middleton and has therefore discussed it apart from Tourneur's work. Murray's examination of The Revenger's Tragedy shows that its author, like Middleton, is a detached ironist and not despairing and obsessed with vice as he has often been supposed to be.

Peter B. Murray was Professor of English at Macalester College.

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