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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume VI. The Drama to 1642, Part Two.

VI. Philip Massinger

§ 20. Massinger in Germany

The posthumous popular fame of Massinger is chiefly based on his comedy A New Way to Pay Old Debts, which has kept the stage till recently, the brilliant part of the bold usurer captivating many famous actors. In a more indirect way, the appreciation of the dramatic power of the tragedy The Fatall Dowry, printed as a joint production of Massinger and Field, but, undoubtedly, chiefly Massinger’s work, has been proved by the adaptations of later poets: by Nicholas Rowe’s tragedy The Fair Penitent, composed in 1703, which did more for the preservation of Rowe’s name as a dramatist than all his independent plays; and by the recent successful version of Beer-Hofmann, entitled Der Graf von Charolais, which revived the memory of Massinger all over Germany. The first traces of his influence on the German stage date back to his lifetime: in 1626, an imitation of his and Dekker’s dramatisation of the legend of Dorothea was performed at Dresden, where his attractive Great Duke of Florence also appeared on the boards in 1661. Later, Massinger attracted the attention of the poets of the romantic school of Germany as one of the most fascinating of Shakespeare’s successors: count Baudissin translated several of his plays, and, within the last decades, German translators have repeatedly had recourse to him.