Home  »  Volume VI: English THE DRAMA TO 1642 Part Two  »  § 8. A Woman Kilde with Kindnesse

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

IV. Thomas Heywood

§ 8. A Woman Kilde with Kindnesse

Proceeding in chronological sequence, we now arrive, among Heywood’ extant undoubted plays, at a group in which the earliest in date is his acknowledged masterpiece, A Woman Kilde with Kindnesse. It should, however, be noted that, on the strength of the occurrence of some Latin ribaldry, both in The Wise-woman Of Hogsdon, which is probably Heywood’ and in the popular How a man may chuse a good Wife from a bad (published anonymously in 1602), Fleay confidently asserts that the two plays must be by the same author. Some further indications of Heywood’ authorship of the second of the pair might be sought in its general tendency and tone, and in at least one touch of true human kindness in his best manner, as well as in the humour of Pipkin, which is very like that of Heywood’ clowns and especially like Roger’ in The English Traveller; but such resemblances, and perhaps one or two others which might be pointed out, are not evidence, and there is more tirade in this piece than is usual with Heywood; for the rest, it is deftly constructed and contains a good deal of humour.