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Middleton-mania!
Bar Harbor
alexx_kay
I'm getting involved in a light (staged-reading) production of Thomas Middleton's "The Revenger's Tragedy". I've been a fan of Middleton for years, and this has spurred me to do more reading.

I have long been aware of an excellent (if incomplete) website with the texts of about half of the Middleton canon, The Plays of Thomas Middleton. These include hypertext annotations, which I adore.

In poking around further on the net, I found that some folks a few years back came out with a Complete Works one-volume book, which is now available in an affordable paperback. Amazon has it for less than $40, which, considering that this tome weighs in at over 2000 pages, is quite a bargain. This contains complete texts of all surviving works that Middleton wrote or collaborated on, with annotations and editorial essays. I've only dipped my toes in it so far, but it seems excellently put together. Apparently even 2000 pages apparently wasn't enough for these editors; there is also a large Companion volume, which is currently out of my price range, that contains a lot of more detailed finicky scholarship, such as discussion of authorial attribution, how exactly they updated spelling, and such-like.

I also picked up a more portable version of one of my favorite Middleton plays, Women Beware Women. I've had the luck to see this performed twice, and am looking forward to reading it. It's got some deliciously evil characters. The climax has about as many deaths as "Hamlet", but with a far more varied and creative set of methods, such as trapdoors, poison gas, and molten gold! I do have to wonder how they pulled off the special effects for molten gold back in the early 1600s...

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Have you seen the 2002 version of The Revenger's Tragedy? Christopher Eccleston, Derek Jacobi, and Eddie Izzard, amongst others.

It's great fun.

I have, and I concur: great fun. "REVENGE! REVENGE!"

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