Beaumont and Fletcher: The Maid's Tragedy (1153 words)

Sandra Clark (Birkbeck, University of London)
Download PDF Save to Bookshelf Tweet Report an Error


The Maid’s Tragedy was probably written around 1610-11, but not printed until 1619. Fuller in The Worthies of England records an anecdote about the playwrights meeting in a tavern to draft a tragedy in which Fletcher “undertook to kill the King therein”. The possibility that it was produced in the aftermath of the assassination of Henry IV of France in 1610, which increased the fears of James I for his own personal safety, is considerable, and adds to the play’s political implications. Recent critics are now willing to regard it as a politically serious play about absolutism and tyranny, possibly mildly censored in its first quarto, and Finkelpearl considers it “one of the greatest mysteries of Jacobean …

Citation: Clark, Sandra. "The Maid's Tragedy". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 October 2003 [, accessed 02 October 2022.]

259 The Maid's Tragedy 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.