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John Webster

(c. 1580—1625) poet and playwright


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(c. 1578–c. 1626),

combined the careers of coachmaker and playwright. He wrote several plays in collaboration with other dramatists; these include Westward Hoe and Northward Hoe, with Dekker (both printed 1607); and A Cure for a Cuckold (printed 1661), probably with Rowley (and possibly Heywood). He expanded Marston's The Malcontent for the King's Men in 1604, and published elegies on Prince Henry in 1613 with Heywood and Tourneur. His great reputation rests on his two major works, The White Devil (pub. 1612) and The Duchess of Malfi (pub. 1623). With these two tragedies Webster has achieved a reputation second only to Shakespeare's. The 20th cent. has seen a strong revival of interest in the plays as drama, and in Webster as a satirist and moralist.

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