Reference > Cambridge History > The Drama to 1642, Part One > Marlowe and Kyd > The Spanish Tragedie
  Thomas Kyd’s early work Kyd and the early Hamlet  

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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume V. The Drama to 1642, Part One.

VII. Marlowe and Kyd.

§ 17. The Spanish Tragedie.


We know that in 1592 The Spanish Tragedie was enjoying the fullest popular favour. None of the earliest quartos—Allde’s undated print, Jeffes’s in 1594, White’s in 1599–gives a clue to the authorship. The entry of the licence for The Spanishe tragedie of Don Horatio and Bellmipeia (Bellimperia) on 6 October, 1592, is silent; so, too, the later editions, and the notes in Henslowe of Ben Jonson’s additions in 1601 and 1602. It is not till we come to the casual reference by Thomas Heywood to “M. Kid” as the author  19  that what might have proved another bibliographical crux is fully determined. We may assume, from the hints in the inductions to Cynthia’s Revels and Bartholomew Fayre, that the play was written between 1585 and 1587. Not only are there no direct references to the great events of 1588, such as could hardly be absent from a “Spanish” tragedy—but the deliberate allusion to older conflicts with England  20  shows that the opportunity which Kyd, as a popular writer, could not have missed had not yet come.   26

Note 19A pology for Actors, 1612. [ back ]
Note 20E. g. The Spanish Tragedie, act I, sc. 5. [ back ]

CONTENTS · VOLUME CONTENTS · INDEX OF ALL CHAPTERS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  Thomas Kyd’s early work Kyd and the early Hamlet  
 
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