Preface -- Chronology of the life and work of Shakespeare and contemporary dramatists -- John Lyly and the university wits : George Peele, Robert Greene, Thomas Lodge and Thomas Nashe / Arthur F. Kinney -- Thomas Kyd and the Elizabethan blockbuster : The Spanish Tragedy / Clara Calvo -- "The words of Mercury" : Shakespeare and Marlowe / Richard Wilson -- The dyer's hand : Shakespeare and Jonson / Warren Chernaik -- Urbane John Marston : obscenity, playfulness, co-operation / Matthew Steggle -- Thomas Dekker and the emergence of city comedy / Darryll Grantley -- Shakespeare : colleagues, collaborators, co-authors / Ton Hoenselaars -- Thomas Heywood : dramatist of London and playwright of the passions / Jean E. Howard -- George Chapman's learned drama / Paul Franssen -- Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher's tragicomedy as musical melodrama / Catherine Henze -- Thomas Middleton and the early modern theatre / Michelle O'Callaghan -- John Webster : collaboration and solitude / Robert Henke -- John Ford : suffering and silence in Perkin Warbeck and 'Tis Pity She's a Whore / Lisa Hopkins -- Philip Massinger : drama, reputation, and the dynamics of social history / Rui Carvalho Homem -- Richard Brome and the idea of a Caroline theatre / Heather Hirschfeld -- Troublesome histories : performance and early modern drama / Elizabeth Schafer.
While Shakespeare's popularity has continued to grow, so has the attention paid to the work of his contemporaries. The contributors to this Companion introduce the distinctive drama of these playwrights, from the court comedies of John Lyly to the works of Richard Brome in the Caroline era. With chapters on a wide range of familiar and lesser-known dramatists, including Thomas Kyd, Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson, John Webster, Thomas Middleton and John Ford, this book devotes particular attention to their personal and professional relationships, occupational rivalries and collaborations. Overturning the popular misconception that Shakespeare wrote in isolation, it offers a new perspective on the most impressive body of drama in the history of the English stage.