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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume IV. Prose and Poetry: Sir Thomas North to Michael Drayton.

VII. Marlowe and Kyd

§ 5. The Jew of Malta

The same problem, but in a more difficult form, is presented in the next play, The Jew of Malta. The first record of this piece is in Henslowe’s diary, February, 1592, and two years later it is named in the Stationers’ register; but, as there is no evidence that it was printed before 1633, when it received the editorial care of Thomas Heywood, we have a ready excuse for disclaiming the poorer passages as the result of the playhouse practice of “writing-up” for managerial ends. Yet, here again, caution is necessary, before we say that only in the earlier acts, in which Barabas is presented with little less than the felicity and dramatic mastery of Shakespeare’s Jew, do we have the genuine Marlowe.