Thomas Dekker, Westward Ho

Tamsin Theresa Badcoe (University of Bristol)
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The Jacobean play

Westward Ho

is credited with initiating the fashion for “directional” city comedy on the London stage


Collaboratively authored by Thomas Dekker and John Webster, it inspired George Chapman, Ben Jonson, and John Marston to write the controversial

Eastward Ho

(1605), and was the forerunner to Dekker and Webster’s own subsequent work,

Northward Ho

(1607). It was written to be performed by the Children of St Paul’s, and on the dissolution of the Children’s Company in 1607 it appeared in print for the first time. It is likely that

Westward Ho

was composed in 1604, well in advance of the publication of

Eastward Ho

in 1605, and the title page of the first edition attests that it had been “divers times acted”.

Westward Ho

was first entered into the Stationers’…

1599 words

Citation: Badcoe, Tamsin Theresa. "Westward Ho". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 04 September 2012 [, accessed 25 May 2024.]

8724 Westward Ho 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.

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