Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Trim: 7 x 10
978-0-8108-9074-9 • Hardback • May 2016 • $181.00 • (£140.00)
978-0-8108-9075-6 • eBook • May 2016 • $163.00 • (£127.00)
D. Heyward Brock is professor and archivist at the University of Delaware. He is the author of Ben Jonson: A Quadricentennial Bibliography, 1947-1972 (1974) and A Ben Jonson Companion (1983).
Maria Palacas is an independent scholar and has taught courses at The University of Akron and the University of Delaware.
An expanded, enhanced version by Brock and independent scholar Palacas of Brock's A Ben Jonson Companion (1983) and his coauthored Ben Jonson: A Quadricentennial Bibliography, 1947–72 (1974), this encyclopedic work paints a panorama of the English Renaissance literary and social scene. It encompasses every piece of information associated with the man—his experiences, works, associates, and contemporaries. The encyclopedia not only features entries pertaining to Jonson's life and time and provides a synopsis of each component of his diverse canon (plays, masques, entertainment, poems, and sketches) but also names players, characters, allusions, classical and mythological figures, inscriptions, and editions of his works. The alphabetical entries vary in length, from short clauses (e.g. Chronos, a character, ‘identified with Saturn as time itself’) to long articles (the entry on ‘Masquers and Tilters’ offers an 11-page listing of characters). Some entries record compilers of Jonson's works (e.g., 18th-century Charles Lamb) or adapters (20th-century Stefan Zweig), and remote details find their way into this comprehensive work: ‘Cipus’ (a citizen of the Roman state), ‘Harper’ (a London printer), ‘Suetonius’ (a Roman biographer). Cross-references; an up-to-date, 15-page selected bibliography; and a comprehensive, 75-page index complete the tome. A very useful resource for advanced research on Jonson and the period. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students; researchers/faculty.
— Choice Reviews
What a marvelous tribute this update is to an almost forgotten genius. It’s been 35 years since the first edition, the Companion, appeared. It is more than time enough for an updated and expanded version, the present Encyclopedia, to make its face known. In alphabetical arrangement, scholars and students alike will find words, phrases, plays, characters, actors, critics, and more as all things Jonson bubble up from every page. Whether the entry is from an actual play or poem, or whether a particular work evokes a philosopher or philosophic work, users will find it here. Although it cannot be said that the work is exhaustive for Jonson, readers will be hard-pressed to find glaring omissions, or even minuscule ones. Particularly useful are the synopses of the plays that appear throughout this handsome tome. A selected bibliography and fulsome index round out this work. As a quick resource for identifying names, places, or people, or as a companion for refreshing one’s memory about a particular play, this volume does tribute to the playwright, poet, actor, critic, and notable friend. It should be on every desk of every Jonson scholar, and all library shelves.
— American Reference Books Annual