The Theater Part III: The Other Major Players Who Aren’t Named Shakespeare

Book Recommendation
Elizabethan Jacobean Drama: The Theatre in Its Time


Christopher Marlowe


Christopher Marlowe: The Complete Plays

Christopher Marlowe: Poet & Spy

YouTube Links

mini biography

Bookworm History on Dr. Faustus

Ben Johnson

Ben Jonson


Ben Jonson: A Life

Complete Works of Ben Jonson (Delphi Classics)

YouTube Videos

This original “song” about Ben Johnson is absolutely hilarious. Seriously, you have to watch it.

Then, on a more serious note, here’s a very scholarly bit by Ian Donaldson from Oxford Academic

Ben Johnson’s Road North, about the trip Johnson took to Scotland


Thomas Kyd


The Spanish Tragedy (Norton Critical Editions)

YouTube Videos

Beyond the Bard: The Spanish Tragedy




  1. Hi Heather:

    First, I LOVE the podcast. It has quickly become my favorite history podcast.

    I just listened to the theater episode and was wondering about the exclusion of one particular author. You mentioned a lot of great names of the day; Shakespeare, Marlowe, Jonson but what about Aphra Behn?? You mentioned the lack of female involvement in the theater but here’s this wonderful exception. A wildly popular and productive author of 19 plays including The Rover. I was a Medieval and Renaissance History major in college and took a course on Renaissance English Literature (major authors minus Shakespeare who gets his own course). I really enjoyed The Rover and was fascinated by her personal character. She is just one of those figures who doesn’t conform to the times and stands out. The kind of person I would like to think I would have been had I lived back then. I appreciate any response and, again, the podcast is great. Keep up the good work! We Anglophiles are counting on you!!


      Hey Shanna! First off, thank you so much for the kind comments. Would you like to do a guest post for my blog on Aphra Behn? She’s a bit late for Elizabethan – I believe she was born in the mid 1600’s, yes? – and though I am a bit generous in my timelines, I try not to stray too far into things that happened either before the Wars of the Roses, or after the English Civil War. (I should say, this is incredibly difficult for me, because I am totally fascinated by Henry II and the mess his family became). Anyway, I would love you to do a guest post for my blog on her if you’d like, and thank you so much for bringing her up!

      • Hi Heather:

        Thank you so much for the reply. Sorry it has taken so long for me to get back to you. Life is just bit crazy right now. Yes, she was born in 1641, I believe. I had a feeling that maybe she was a bit late for your purposes. I appreciate the offer to write something for the blog. A little bit intimidating as it has been some time since I wrote something academic. What parameters you are looking for? Also, I’m going to be very busy over the next couple weeks so I don’t foresee being able to work on it until late July. Again, I really appreciate the offer and the response!

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