Posted by: Frederick Cornwell Sanders | 2013/10/07

“October 7, 1576” by Rick Sanders

English: Brasenose College, Oxford, etching by...

English: Brasenose College, Oxford, etching by David Loggan in 1670s. Italiano: Brasenose College, Oxford, disegnato da David Loggan nel 1670. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1576,  John Marston, the English poet and playwright was baptized on this date. He died in 1634.

Wikipedia says of his life:

Marston was born to John and Maria Marston née Guarsi, and baptized at Islington. His father was an eminent lawyer of the Middle Temple who first argued in London and then became the counsel to Coventry and ultimately its steward. John Marston entered Brasenose College, Oxford in 1592 and received his BA in 1594. By 1595, he was in London, living in the Middle Temple, where he had been admitted a member three years previously. He had an interest in poetry and play writing, although his father’s will of 1599 expresses the hope that he would give up such vanities. He married Mary Wilkes in 1605, daughter of the Reverend William Wilkes, one of King James’s chaplains.

One of his works is the play The Dutch Courtesan which has the following plot.

Freevill is deeply involved with the “Dutch Courtesan” Franceschina but he is about to marry Beatrice, daughter of Sir Hubert Subboys and decides to break with Franceschina. He introduces her to his friend Malheureux who at once desires her. Humiliated, she promises to submit to him if he kills Freevill and bring her a ring he has received from Beatrice. The two friends pretend to quarrel, Freevill vanishes, the ring is brought to Franceschina. She goes off to inform Freevill’s father and Beatrice’s father of what has happened. Malheureux is arrested and condemned to die. At the last moment, Freevill appears and explains he has done this to cure Malheureux of his passion. Franceschina is whipped and imprisoned.[2]

Marston was known for his satires and dramas. Marston’s reputation has had its ups and downs, but is now considered an important Elizabethan writer.



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