This volume presents a fresh new edition of the most important play by one of Shakespeare’s most creative contemporaries. Francis Beaumont’s The Knight of the Burning Pestle is a free-wheeling, satirical romp through the world of early modern theatre. Hilarious, outrageous, and unpredictable, Beaumont’s comedy confounded its first audiences but has since been recognized as a singular comedic gem from the golden age of English playmaking.
Todd Pettigrew’s new Broadview Edition provides an engaging and up-to-date introduction to the play, a clean, modern edition of the text, and detailed annotations. A rich selection of historical appendices provides additional ways to understand the play’s complex literary allusions and cultural contexts.
“This excellent edition of The Knight of the Burning Pestle is ideal for use in the classroom, the theatre, and the study. Todd H.J. Pettigrew’s smart and accessible introduction locates Beaumont’s popular comedy within the context of early modern theatrical conventions, emphasizing the many ways in which it deploys satire to complicate and challenge familiar dramatic tropes and structures. Convenient accounts of the playwright’s biography and of the authorship, dating, and reception history of the play are included, and the text itself is thoughtfully and clearly glossed. Most excitingly, the volume’s rich appendices include a fascinating array of intertexts for the play, including excerpts from early modern romances, accounts of theatrical and medical practices, and discussions about tobacco use.” — Jessica Slights, Acadia University