John Marston’s Stationers, 1607–1633

Cathcart, Charles (2023). John Marston’s Stationers, 1607–1633. The Review of English Studies, 74 pp. 274–289.



This essay revisits the publication of John Marston’s writings following his withdrawal from theatrical activity. It directs attention away from Marston’s presumed interventions and examines the choices and activities of five stationers: Thomas Thorpe, Thomas Archer, Richard Hawkins, Hugh Perry, and William Sheares. Their release of Marston’s writing offers a sharp insight into their various strategies and practices. Thorpe’s handling of What You Will and Histrio-mastix is best understood in relation to his choice to publish the plays of Marston, Jonson, and Chapman—and those of no other dramatist. Archer’s release of The Insatiate Countesse makes most sense in relation to the Overbury scandal. Hawkins—unlike his peers—progressively accentuated authorial agency in the successive editions of The Metamorphosis of Pigmalions Image within his series of Alcilia-led compilations. Perry and Sheares seem to have been running a joint enterprise at the time of The Workes of Mr John Marston of 1633. By turning towards the choices made by these stationers and placing less emphasis on the hypothesis of Marston’s reluctance to be associated with his writings, a new history of reception, dissemination, and publishing enterprise emerges.

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