Christopher Marlowe's most famous play exists in multiple versions, and scholars are still struggling to untangle the relationships among the different texts of the play. Though the copy text for this edition is the 1616 edition (B1), Appendix A reproduces four scenes and a chorus from the A-text, all of which differ substantially from their B-text analogues, along with the Sultan of Babylon scene from the 1663 edition of the play (B7). Readers can thus observe the mutations of the play Doctor Faustus (as well as the character of Faustus) through the course of early modern English theatre and culture.
The introduction and appendices to this Broadview Edition provide a wealth of materials on Marlowe's life and work, the Faust tradition in Europe and Britain, magic and witchcraft, and the Protestant Reformation.
Publisher: Broadview Press Ltd
Number of pages: 300
Weight: 365 g
Dimensions: 216 x 140 x 12 mm
Mathew R. Martin already has an admirable track record as an editor of Marlowe's plays; this edition of Doctor Faustus: The B Text will only enhance that reputation. The lucid Introduction is based on ample research, but Martin wears his scholarship so well that reading his prose is a pleasure. The decision to bring out an edition of the B Text is both timely and courageous. For twenty-four years, to use a Faustian interval, editors have tended to prefer the A Text (1604) to its cousin B (1616). Now the B Text has at last received the painstaking attention regularly given to A. That will not resolve the riddle of the relationship between the two, but at least it will put into the hands of Marlowe's readers the particulars they need for balanced appraisal and comparison." - Ronald Huebert, Dalhousie University
"Sensitively introduced, lucidly edited, and drawing upon a wide range of modern criticism, Mathew Martin's edition of the B text of Marlowe's Doctor Faustus is one that will amply repay the attention of scholars and students alike. In particular, the richly furnished contextual material offered here enables readers to engage more fully with some of the complex philosophical, theological, magical, and cultural tensions that Marlowe's great drama explores so hauntingly." - Adrian Streete, Queen's University, Belfast