Skip to main content Skip to Search Box
Summary Article: Middleton, Thomas
From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

English dramatist. He produced numerous romantic plays, tragedies, and realistic comedies, both alone and in collaboration, including A Fair Quarrel (1617), The Changeling (1622), and The Spanish Gypsy (1623) with William Rowley; The Roaring Girl (1611) with Thomas Dekker; and (alone) Women Beware Women (1621). He also composed many pageants and masques.

Other plays include A Trick to Catch the Old One (c. 1604–07), Your Five Gallants (1604–07), The Familie of Love (1608), A Mad World, My Masters (1609), A Chaste Maid in Cheapside (c. 1611), No Wit, No Help Like a Woman's (c. 1613), More Dissemblers Besides Women (c. 1615), and The Witch (c. 1615).

Middleton's work is wide-ranging and varied in quality. His work shows a particular sympathy with and insight into female psychology.

Middleton was born in London and educated at Queen's College, Oxford. He started his writing career in 1597 with a poem, ‘The Wisdom of Solomon Paraphrased’. Soon be became a professional writer for the theatre, collaborating with Thomas Dekker, John Webster, William Rowley, and others. He also wrote verse satires and satirical prose pamphlets such as The Black Book (1604). Middleton was employed writing masques and entertainments for civic occasions in London, finally being appointed city chronologer in 1620. In 1624, his satirical anti-Spanish comedy A Game at Chess, which represented prominent politicians as chess pieces, played for nine days to packed crowds before being banned by the Privy Council.


Middleton, Thomas


Middleton, Thomas

© RM, 2018. All rights reserved.

Related Articles

Full text Article Middleton, Thomas
Continuum Encyclopedia of British Literature

Middleton is the third major playwright of the Jacobean period after William SHAKESPEARE and Ben JONSON . He wrote...

Full text Article Middleton, Thomas (1580 - 1627)
The Bloomsbury Dictionary of English Literature

Little is known about his life; he may have been a student of law in London and in the 1590s he was at Oxford University. Later...

Full text Article Middleton, Thomas (c. 1580 - 1627)
The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English

The son of a master bricklayer, Middleton was probably born in London. He may have spent some time at Gray's Inn after...

See more from Credo