Introduction: Strangers and Aliens in London ca 1605 -- Is Anyone Stranger than a London Gallant?


  • Helen M. Ostovich McMaster University



John Marston; Dutch Courtesan


This special issue on John Marston's The Dutch Courtesan illustrates the various tensions in London at the start of James I's reign. This city comedy deploys satire to urge its audience to see the anxiety and fears caused by misogyny, xenophobia, religious dissent, and contact with European foreigners, all of which create an alien environment infecting those who live in it. Each of the ten essays that make up the issue touches on these anxieties, or at least elements of strangeness that need arguing away or accepting as unresolvable in Marston's view of human nature.



Author Biography

Helen M. Ostovich, McMaster University

Helen Ostovich ( is emeritus professor of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University. She is founding editor of the journal Early Theatre, and a general editor of The Revels Plays, as well as general editor of the electronic series, Queen’s Men Editions. She is series editor of the Routledge Studies in Performance and Early Modern Drama. As a play-editor, she prepared The Magnetic Lady for The Cambridge Works of Ben Jonson; The Late Lancashire Witches and A Jovial Crew for Richard Brome Online, currently being re-edited for print with Oxford University Press; and co-edited (with Holger Schott Syme and Andrew Griffin) a volume of essays, Locating the Queen’s Men, 1583-1603: Material Practices and Conditions of Playing (2009). She edited (with Lisa Hopkins) Magical Transformations on the Early Modern English Stage (2014); (with Erin Julian) The Alchemist: A Critical Reader (2013); and (with Jessica Dell and David Klausner), The Chester Cycle in Context, 1555-1575: Religion, Drama, and the Impact of Change (2012). She prepared The Ball for The Complete Works of James Shirley (OUP), The Merry Wives of Windsor for Norton Shakespeare 3,  is now preparing Merry Wives  quarto and folio for Internet Shakspeare Editions, and co-editing (with Erin Julian) The Dutch Courtesan for The Complete Works of John Marston, OUP.






Special Issue

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