Living by Others’ Pleasure: Marston, The Dutch Courtesan, and Theatrical Profit


  • Lucy Munro King's College London



John Marston; Dutch Courtesan


We have known for over a century that John Marston held a share in Children of the Queen’s Revels, the all-boy playing company that first performed The Dutch Courtesan in 1604, but how this knowledge affects our understanding of his plays requires further exploration. Drawing on neglected documentary sources, this essay reappraises the company’s links with the Chapel Royal choir to argue that Dutch Courtesan capitalizes on the skills that most clearly connected its performers with the royal choir, even while scrutinizing the ways in which the company turned pleasurable recreation into profit.

Author Biography

Lucy Munro, King's College London

Lucy Munro ( is professor of Shakespeare and early modern literature in the department of English at King's College London. Her publications include Children of the Queen’s Revels: A Jacobean Theatre Repertory (Cambridge University Press, 2005), Archaic Style in English Literature, 1590-1674 (Cambridge University Press, 2013), an edition of Thomas Dekker, John Ford, and William Rowley’s The Witch of Edmonton (Arden Early Modern Drama, 2016), and Shakespeare in the Theatre: The King’s Men (Bloomsbury Arden Shakespeare, forthcoming 2020). She is a contributor to the collaborative research projects ‘Before Shakespeare’ and ‘Engendering the Stage’.






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