Webster (c1580-c1634) was an English Jacobean dramatist best known for his tragedies The White Devil and The Duchess of Malfi which are regarded as masterpieces of the early 17th-century stage. The White Devil was first performed in 1612 but according to the author the play's first performance was a notorious failure, being put on in the dead of winter before an unreceptive audience. Unsurprisingly the play's complexity, sophistication and satire made it a poor fit with the Queen Anne's Men repertory company at the Red Bull Theatre, an inn-yard conversion in Clerkenwell, London, where it was first performed, but it was successfully revived in 1630 and published again in 1631.
About the Author
Benedict S. Robinson is Associate Professor at Stony Brook University, USA
Table of Contents
List of illustrations
General editors' preface
The White Devil
Abbreviations and references
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The White Devil based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Due to heroin use, seventeen years old Andrew Taylor is expelled from elite Frederick Williams Academy, a Connecticut prep school catering to the affluent. His father provides an exorbitant gift to Harrow in England, which gets Andrew into the school. Andrew is excited over one thing, the Housemaster Sir Alan Vine's daughter Persephone. Andrew is at a nearby cemetery on Harrow-on-the-Hill when he witnesses the murder of a student Theo Ryder who resided in the rundown haunted Lot dorm. The culprit is a gaunt skeletal person wearing a very old style frock coat. Feeling ill Andrew suffers from nightmares. He also learns that an emaciated person looking like the killer appeared in a performance of John Webster's The White Devil at Harrow in 1803. At the same time, he struggles with what his senses imply; Andrew plays Byron in acrimonious alcoholic housemaster Piers Fawkes's play because the American looks like the late romantic era poet. However, the American exiled teen begins to assimilate Byron's exotic life while tuberculosis spreads amidst those at the school and the bizarre takes control of Andrew's section of Harrow. The connection between the modern day and the romantic period is clever as Byron's "true" love ties the American with the late poet in this harrowing haunted school story. Although requiring a leap of faith over Big Ben as too many of the cast easily accepts the existence of a ghost, readers will enjoy this spooky fast-paced tale of an American attending Harrow. Harriet Klausner