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

I. Ben Jonson


Bibliographies are to be found in Castelain, Ben Jonson: I’Homme et l’Oeuvre (see post under Sec. III) as well as in Schelling’s Elizabethan Drama, and in his edition of Eastward Hoe in the Belles Lettres Series. Lists of seventeenth century editions are given in Fleay’s Chronicle of Stage, and Greg’s List of Plays and List of Masques.


The Workes of Benjamin Jonson. 1616 (folio). Contains: Every Man In His Humour. The Alchemist. Every Man Out Of his Humour. Catiline His Conspiracy. Cynthias Revels, Or The Fountayne Epigrammes. of selfe-Love. The Forrest. Poëtaster, Or His Arraignement. Entertaynments. Sejanus his Fall. Panegyre. Volpone, Or The Foxe. Masques. Epicoene Or The silent Woman. Barriers.

The first volume of the folio of 1640 was a reprint of the 1616 edition.

The Workes of Benjamin Jonson. The second Volume. 1640. Contains: Bartholomew Fayre. Masques. The Divell is an Asse. Underwoods. The Staple of Newes. Mortimer his Fall. A Tragedie. The Magnetick Lady: Or Humours [A fragment.] Reconcil’d Horace, His Art of Poetrie. The Tale Of A Tub. The English Grammar. The Sad Shepherd: Or A Tale of Timber: Or Discoveries. Robin-Hood. [Unfinished.

The one volume folio of 1692 adds The New Inne and Leges Conviviales.

The following is a list of Ben Jonson’s plays, masques and entertainments, arranged chronologically: the date of licensing is given when it differs from the year of publication. Those which appeared for the first time in the first or second folio are in each case so marked.

A. Plays

The comicall Satyre of Every Man Out of his Humor. As it was first composed by the Author B. J. Containing more then hath been publikely spoken or acted. With the severall Character of every person. 1600.

Every Man in his Humor. As it hath beene sundry times publikely acted by the right Honorable the Lord Chamberlaine his servants. 1601. (Stationers’ register, 1600.)

The Fountaine of Selfe-Love. Or Cynthias Revels. As it hath beene sundry times privately acted in the Black-Friers by the Children of her Majesties Chappell. 1601.

Poetaster or The Arraignment: As it hath beene sundry times privately acted in the Blacke Friers, by the children of her Majesties Chappell. Et mihi de nullo fama rubore placet. 1602. (Stationers’ register, 1601.)

Sejanus his fall. 1605. (Stationers’ register, 1604.)

Ben: Jonson his Volpone Or The Foxe. 1607.

Ben: Jonson, his Case is Alterd. As it hath beene sundry times Acted by the Children of the Blacke-friers. 1609 (two eds.).

Catiline his Conspiracy. 1611.

The Alchemist.—Neque, me ut miretur turba, laboro; Contentus paucis lectoribus. 1612. (Stationers’ register, 1610.)

Epicoene, Or The silent Woman. A Comoedie. Acted in the yeere 1609. By the Children of her Majesties Revells. Horat. Ut sis tu similis Coeli Byrrhique latronum, Non ego sim Capri, neque Sulci. Cur metuas me? (Ist folio.) [The first extant quarto appeared in 1620, Stationers’ register, 1610; Biographia Dramatica mentions an edition of 1609, and Gifford one of 1612, but neither is now known.]

The New Inne. Or, The light Heart. A Comoedy. As it was never acted, but most negligently play’d, by some, the Kings Servants. And more squeamishly beheld and censured by others the Kings Subjects. 1629. Now, at last, set at liberty to the Readers, his Ma[char] Servants, and Subjects, to be judg’d. 1631.

Bartholomew Fayre: A Comedie, Acted in the yeare, 1614. By the Lady Elizabeths Servants. And then dedicated to King James, of most Blessed Memorie. 1631 (2nd folio). [With motto from Horace, bk. II epist. I II. 194–200.]

The Divell is an Asse: A Comedie acted in his yeare, 1616. By His Majesties Servants. Hor. de Art. Poet. Ficta voluptatis Causa, sint proxima veris. 1631 (2nd folio).

The Staple of Newes. A Comedie Acted in the yeare, 1625. By his Majesties Servants. Hor. in Art. Poet. Aut prodesse volunt, aut delectare poetae: Aut simul et jucunda, et idonea dicere vitae. 1631 (2nd folio). (Stationers’ register, 1626.)

The Magnetick Lady: Or, Humors Reconcil’d. A Comedy composed By Ben: Johnson. Jam lapides suus ardor agit ferrumque, tenetur, Illecebris—Claud. de Magnet. 1640 (2nd folio). (Stationers’ register, 1632.)

A Tale of a Tub. A Comedy. Catul.—Inficeto est inficetior rure. 1640 (2nd folio). (Stationers’ register, 1633.)

The Sad Shepherd: Or A Tale of Robin-Hood. Virg. Nec erubuit sylvas habitare Thaleia. 1641 (2nd folio). [Unfinished.]

Mortimer his Fall. A Tragedie. Hor. in Art. Poëtic. Et docuit magnumque loqui, integre cothurno. 1640 (2nd folio). [A fragment.]

B. Masques and Entertainments

B. Jon: his part of King James his Royall and Magnificent Entertainement through his Honorable Cittie of London, Thurseday the 15. of March. 1603. So much as was presented in the first and last of their Triumphal Arch’s. With his speech made to the last Presentation, in the Strand, erected by the inhabitants of the Dutchy, and Westminster. Also, a briefe Panegyre of his Majesties first and well auspicated entrance to his high Court of Parliament, on Monday, the 19. of the same Moneth. With other Additions. 1604. [Contains also: A particular Entertainment of the Queene and Prince their Highnesse at Althrope, at the Right Honourable the Lord Spencers, on Saterday being the 25. of June, 1603, as they came first into the kingdome.]

Hymenæi: or The Solemnities of Masque, and Barriers, Magnificently performed on the eleventh, and twelfth Nights, from Christmas; At Court: To the auspicious celebrating of the Marriage-union, betweene Robert, Earle of Essex, and the lady Frances, second Daughter to the most noble Earle of Suffolke. 1606.

The Characters of Two royall Masques. The one of Blacknesse, The other, of Beautie. personated By the most magnificent of Queenes Anne Queene of great Britaine, &c. With her honorable Ladyes, 1605. and 1608. at White-hall. [1608.]

The Description of the Masque. With the Nuptiall Songs. Celebrating the happy Marriage of John, Lord Ramsey, Viscount Hadington, with the Lady Elizabeth Ratcliffe, Daughter to the right Honor: Robert, Earle of Sussex. At Court On the Shrove-Tuesday at night. 1608.

The Masque of Queenes Celebrated From the House of Fame: By the most, absolute in all State, And Titles. Anne Queene of Great Britaine, &c. With her Honourable Ladies. At White Hall, Febr. 2. 1609. Et memorem famam, quae bene gessit, habet. [1609.]

Of the following, the earliest extant impressions are in the first folio (1616): A Private Entertainment of the King and Queene, on May-day in the Morning, At Sir William Cornwalleis his house, at High-gate. 1604.

The Entertainment of the two Kings of Great Britaine and Denmarke at Theobalds, July 24. 1606.

The Speeches at Prince Henries Barriers. [1610.]

Oberon, The Faery Prince. A Masque of Prince Henries. [1611.]

A Masque of her Majesties. Love Freed from Ignorance and Folly. [1610.]

Love Restored, in a Masque at Court, by Gentlemen the Kings Servants. [1612.]

A Challenge at Tilt, at a Marriage. [1613.]

The Irish Masque At Court, By Gentlemen the Kings Servants. [1613.]

Mercury Vindicated from the Alchemists. At Court, By Gentlemen the Kings Servants. [1615.]

The Golden Age Restored. In a Maske at Court, 1615. By the Lords, and Gentlemen, the Kings servants.

Lovers made Men. A Masque Presented in the House of the Right Honorable The Lord Haye. By divers of noble qualitie, his friends. For the entertaynment of Monsieur le Baron de Tour, extraordinarie Ambassador for the French King. On Saterday the 22. of February. 1617. 1617.

The Masque of Augures. With the several Antimasques. Presented on Twelfe night. 1621.

Neptunes Triumph for the returne of Albion, celebrated in a Masque at the Court on the Twelfth night 1623.

The Fortunate Isles and their Union. celebrated in a Masque design’d for the Court, on the Twelfth night. 1624.

Loves Triumph through Callipolis. Performed in a Masque at Court 1630. By his Majestie with the Lords, and Gentlemen assisting. The Inventors. Ben. Jonson. Inigo Jones. 1630.

Chloridia. Rites to Chloris and her Nymphs. Personated in a Masque, at Court. By the Queens Majesty And her ladies. At Shrove-tide. 1630.

Of the following, the earliest impressions are in second folio (1640): Christmas, His Masque, As it was presented at Court. 1616. The Vision of Delight Presented at Court in Christmas, 1617. Pleasure Reconciled to Vertue. A Masque. As it was presented at Court before King James. 1619. For The Honour of Wales. [1618.] Newes from the New World discover’d in the Moone. A Masque, As it was presented at Court before King James. 1620.

A Masque of the Metamorphos’d Gypsies. As it was thrice presented to King James. First, At Burleigh on the Hill. Next, at Belvoyr, and lastly, at Windsor. August, 1621.

Time Vindicated to Himselfe, and to his Honors. In the presentation at Court on Twelfe night. 1623.

Pans Anniversarie; or, The Shepherds Holy-Day. The Scene Arcadia. As it was presented at Court before King James. 1625. The Inventors, Inigo Jones. Ben Johnson.

The Masque of Owles at Kenelworth. Presented by the Ghost of Captaine Coxe mounted in his Hoby-horse. 1626.

The Kings Entertainment At Welbeck in Nottinghamshire, A house of the Right Honourable, William Earle of Newcastle, Vicount Mansfield, Baron of Botle, and Bolsover, &c. At his going into Scotland. 1633.

Loves Welcome. The King and Queenes Entertainment at Bolsover: At the Earle of Newcastles, The thirtieth of July, 1634.

C. Other Publications

Epigrams (Stationers’ register, 1612), unknown. A Discourse of Love, or Songs, Sonnets, and Elegies betwixt Withers and Jonson (Stationers’ register, 1618), unknown. Barclay’s Argenis, translated by Jonson (Stationers’ register, 1623), unknown. The Exclamation against Vulcan with Epigrams, 1640 (Stationers’ register, 1639). Horace’s Art of Poetry, englished by Jonson, 1640, containing also the Masque of Gypsies.


The first critical edition was by Whalley, P., 7 vols., 1756; Colman, G., reprinted from Whalley’s ed. with the Works of Beaumont and Fletcher, 1811. In 1816, appeared Gifford’s ed., 9 vols., containing a memoir and his essay “Proofs of Ben Jonson’s Malignity from the Commentators of Shakespeare.” Barry Cornwall’s ed., 1838, is of slight importance. F. Cunningham’s reprint of Gifford with some corrections is still the best edition, 9 vols., 1875 (3 vols., 1871). A new ed. by Herford, C. H. and Simpson, P., is promised. There are many editions of single works. Reprints of the quarto of 1601 of Every Man in his Humour, are by Grabau, C., Shakesp. Jahrb. vol. XXXVIII, 1903, and by Bang, W. and Greg, W. W., Bang’s Materialien, vol. XI, 1905. An edition of this play by Wheatley, H. B. (containing a valuable biographical, together with a special, introduction), was published in 1877, and another by Dixon, W. M., in the Temple Dramatists in 1905. The Alchemist and Eastward Hoe have been edited by Schelling, F. E. (Belles Lettres Series), 1903 and 1905. Poetaster, ed. by Penniman, J. H., is promised in the same series. The Mermaid Series gives three vols. to a number of the plays, with an introduction by Herford, C. H., and notes by Nicholson, B., 1893–4. Bang, W., has in process reprints of the plays from the folio and quartos in Materialien. In Yale Studies in English have appeared careful critical eds. of The Alchemist, by Hathaway, C. H., 1903; Bartholomew Fair, by Alden, C. S., 1903; Poetaster, by Mallory, H. S.; The Staple of News, by De Winter, and The Devil is an Ass, by Johnson, W. S., all in 1905; Epicoene, by Henry, A., 1906; and The New Inne by Tennant, G. B., 1908. Volpone, ed. Wilkins, H. B., appeared in 1905. The Alchemist has also been edited by Hart, H. C. (The King’s Library), 1903. Greg, W. W., edited The Sad Shepherd and reprinted Waldron’s continuation, Bang’s Materialien, vol. VII, 1905. Of the non-dramatic works, Discoveries has been edited by Morley, H., 1892; Schelling, F. E., 1892; Gollancz, I., 1898; and Castelain, M., 1906. The Conversations with Drummond were first printed in Shakesp. Soc. Publ. by Laing, D., 1842.

For Jonsonus Virbius, see vol. IX of Gifford’s edition, and cf. as to Jonson’s acquaintances, etc., Fleay’s Drama, vol. I, pp. 337 ff.


This list does not include general works on the drama, literary history, or criticism, such as those of Langbaine, Dryden, Collier, Malone, Lamb, Coleridge, Hazlitt, Tieck, Schlegel, Courthope, Fleay, Ward, Schelling and Jusserand. Additional biographical and critical matter will be found in the various critical editions enumerated above.

Aronstein, P. Ben Jonson’s Theorie des Lustspiels. Anglia, vol. XVII, pp. 466–485. Halle, 1894.

Aronstein, P. Jonson und seine Zeitgenossen. Engl. Stud. vol XXXIV. 1906.

Aubrey, John. Letters written by Eminent Persons in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. 2 vols. in 3. 1813.

Baskervill, C. R. The Sources of Jonson’s Masque of Christmas and Loves Welcome at Welbeck. Modern Philology, vol. VI, pp. 257–269. October, 1908.

—— Some parallels to Bartholomew Fair. Modern Philology, vol. VI, pp, 109–127. July, 1908.

Baudissin, W. H. T. Ben Jonson und seine Schule. 2 vols. Leipzig, 1896.

Brenneke, E. Kulturhistorisches aus Ben Jonson’s Dramen. (Diss.) Halle, 1899.

Brotanek, R. Die englischen Maskenspiele. Wiener Beiträge zur Englischen Philologie, vol. XV. Vienna, 1902.

Brown, T. E. Ben Jonson. The New Review, vol. XIV, pp. 514–523. 1896.

Browne, W. H. Lucian and Jonson. Mod. Lang. Notes, vol. XXI, p. 113. 1906.

Bruce, J. Ben Jonson’s supposed Complicity in the Gunpowder Plot. The Athenaeum, 22 April, 1865.

Buff, A. The Quarto Edition of Ben Jonson’s Every Man in his Humour. Engl. Stud., vol. I, pp. 181 ff. 1877.

Capell, E. Notes and Various Readings to Shakespeare. 3 vols. 1779–83.

Cartwright, R. Shakespeare and Jonson. Dramatic versus Wit Combats. 1st ed. Anonymous. 1864.

Castelain, M. Ben Jonson: 1’Homme et 1’Oeuvre. Paris, 1907. (With bibl.)

—— Shakespeare et Ben Jonson. Revue Germanique, vol. III, parts I and II. Paris, 1907. [Part I deals with Jonson’s censures of Shakespeare, and part II with Jonson’s quarrel with Marston, and Shakespeare’s (supposed) attacks upon Jonson.]

See, also, on this subject: Ben Jonson’s Quarrel with Shakespeare, North British Rev., July, 1890.

Chetwood, W. R. Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Ben Jonson. Dublin, 1756.

Child, C. G. Relations of Jonson to Bruno. The Nation, vol. LXXIX. 1904.

Cibber, T. An Account of the Lives of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland. 5 vols. 1753.

Crawford, Charles. Ben Jonson’s Method of Composing Verse. In Collectanea. 2 vols. 1906–7. [Vol. I.]

Curtis, H. D. Source of the Petronel-Winifred Plot in Eastward Hoe. Modern Philology, vol. v, pp. 105–8. 1907.

Dobell, B. Newly discovered Documents of the Elizabethan and Jacobean Periods. The Athenaeum, 23–30 March, 6–13 April, 1901.

Evans, H. A. English Masques. (The Warwick Library.) 1897.

Friesen, H. von. Ben Jonson, eine Studie. Shakesp. Jahrb., vol. X. 1875.

Fuller, T. The History of the Worthies of England. Vol. II, pp. 424–5. 3 vols. 1840.

Gilchrist, O. G. An Examination of the charges… of Ben Jonson’s enmity towards Shakespeare. 1808.

—— A letter to W. Gifford, Esq., on the late edition of Ford’s Plays. 1811.

Gosse, E. Seventeenth Century Studies. 1883. 3rd ed. 1897.

—— The Jacobean Poets. 1899.

Grossmann, H. Ben Jonson als Kritiker. Berlin, 1898.

“H.” “Ben Jonson.” Herrig’s Archiv, vol. X, pp. 241 ff. 1852.

Hart, H. C. Ben Jonson, Gabriel Harvey, and Nashe. Notes and Queries, Ser. IX, vol. XI, 1903.

—— Gabriel Harvey, Marston and Ben Jonson. Notes and Queries, Ser. IX, vol. XII. 1903.

Hazlitt, W. The English Comic Writers. Edd. Waller, A. R. and Glover, A. 1903.

—— Lectures on the Dramatic Literature of the Age of Elizabeth. Ibid. 1902.

Henderson, W. A. Shakespeare and Sejanus. Notes and Queries, Ser. VIII, vol. V, pp. 502–3. 1894.

Herford, C. H. Art. Jonson. Dict. of Nat. Biogr., vol. XXX. 1892.

—— Introduction to the edition of Ben Jonson. (Mermaid Series.) 1893–4.

Herpich, C. A. Shakespeare and Ben Jonson: Did they quarrel? Notes and Queries, Ser. IX, vol. IX. 12 April, 1902.

Hoffschulte, H. Ueber Ben Jonson’s ältere Lustspiele. M¨nster, 1894.

Hofmiller, J. Die ersten sechs Masken Ben Jonson’s in ihrem Verhältniss zur antiken Literatur. (Diss.) Munich, 1901.

Hollstein, E. Verhältnis von Ben Jonson’s The Devil is an Ass, und John Wilson’s Belphegor zu Machiavelli’s Novelle von Belfagor. (Diss.) Halle and Wittenberg, 1901.

Holt, L. H. Notes on Jonson’s Volpone. Mod. Lang. Notes, vol. XX, p. 63. 1905.

Holthausen, F. Die Quelle von Ben Jonson’s Volpone. Anglia, vol. XII, pp. 519–525. 1889.

Jusserand, J. J. Ben Jonson’s Views on Shakespeare’s Art. Shakespeare Head press ed. of Shakespeare, vol. X, pp. 297–391. 1907.

Koeppel, E. Quellenstudien zu den Dramen Ben Jonson’s, John Marston’s, und Beaumont und Fletcher’s. M¨nchener Beiträge, vol. XI. Erlangen and Leipzig, 1895.

—— Ben Jonson’s Wirkung auf zeitgenössische Dramatiker. Anglistische Forschungen, vol. XX. Heidelberg, 1906.

Kramer, F. Das Verhältniss von D. Garrick’s Every Man in His Humour zu dem gleichnamigen Lustspiel Ben Jonsons. (Diss.) Halle, 1903.

Kyd, Thomas. Works. Ed. Boas, F. S. [char] Oxford, 1901.

Maass, H. Ben Jonson’s Lustspiel Every Man in his Humour und die gleichnamige Bearbeitung durch David Garrick. (Diss.) Rostock, 1903.

Mézières, A. J. F. Prédécesseurs et Contemporains de Shakespeare. Paris, 1881.

Nason, A. H. Heralds and Heraldry in Ben Jonson’s Plays. New York, 1907.

Nicholson, Brinsley. On the Dates of the two Versions of Every Man in his Humour. The Antiquary, vol. VI, pp. 15–19, 106–110.

—— Ben Jonson’s Folios and the Bibliographers. Notes and Queries, Ser. IV, vol. v, p. 573. 1870.

Penniman, J. H. The War of the Theatres. (Pennsylvania thesis.) Boston, 1897.

Reed, E. B. Herrick’s Indebtedness to Ben Jonson. Mod. Long. Notes, vol. XVII, pp. 478–484. 1902.

Reinsch, H. Ben Jonson’s Poetik und seine Beziehungen zu Horaz. Munich. (Diss.) Naumburg, 1898. Cf. M¨chener Beiträge zur Romanischen und Englischen Philologie, vol. XVI, 1899.

Reyher, P. Les Masques Anglais—étude sur les Ballets et la vie du cour en Angleterre (1512–1640). Paris, 1909.

Saegelken, C. Ben Jonson’s Römerdramen. (Diss.) Bremen, 1880.

Schelling, F. E. Ben Jonson and the Classical School. Publications of the Mod. Lang. Assoc. of America, vol. XIII, pp. 221–249. Baltimore, 1898.

Schmidt, A. Essay on the life and dramatic writings of Ben Jonson. Danzig, 1847.

Small, R. A. The Stage Quarrel between Ben Jonson and the so-called Poetasters. Forschungen zur englischen Sprache und Literatur, vol. I. Breslau, 1899.

Soergel, A. Die Englischen Maskenspiele. Halle, 1882.

Sperrhake, W. Ben Jonson’s The Case is Altered und seine Quellen. Halle, 1905.

Swinburne, A. C. A Study of Ben Jonson. 1889.

Symmes, H. S. Les débuts de la Critique dramatique en Angleterre jusqu’à la mort de Shakespeare. (Diss.) Paris, 1903.

Symonds, J. A. Ben Jonson. English Worthies. 1886.

—— Shakespere’s Predecessors in the English Drama. 1884. New ed. 1900.

—— Introductory Essay to the Dramatic Works and Lyrics of Ben Jonson, selected. (Canterbury Poets.) 1886.

Taine, H. Hist. de la Litt. Anglaise. Book II, part III. E. tr. Vol. I. 1871.

Thomson, J. Biographical and Critical Studies. 1904.

Ulbrich, O. Ben Jonson als Lustspieldichter. Herrig’s Archiv, vol. XLVI. 1870.

Upton, J. Remarks on the Three Plays of Ben Jonson. 1749.

Vatke, T. Jonson in seinen Anfängen. Herrig’s Archiv, vol. LXXI. 1884.

Vogt, A. Ben Jonson’s Tragödie Catiline his Conspiracy und ihre Quellen. (Diss.) Halle, 1903.

Waldron, F. G. The Sad Shepherd of Ben Jonson continued, etc. 1783.

Weildler, W. Das Verhältniss von Mrs. Centlivre’s The Busy Body, zu Molière’s 1’étourdi, und Ben Jonson’s The Devil is an Ass. (Diss.) Halle, 1900.

Wendell, B. The Temper of the Seventeenth Century in English Literature. New York and London, 1904.

Wilke, W. Metrische Untersuchungen zu Ben Jonson. (Diss.) Halle, 1884.

—— Anwendung der Rhyme-test und Double-ending test auf Ben Jonson’s Dramen. Anglia, vol. X, pp. 512 ff. 1888.

Wood, H. Shakespeare burlesqued by two fellow-dramatists. American Journal of Philology, vol. XVI, pp. 273 ff. Baltimore, 1895.

Woodbridge, Elizabeth. Studies in Jonson’s Comedy. (Yale Studies in English, vol. V.) Boston, New York and London, 1898. [As to the Masques and Pastoral, see, also, bibliography to Chap. XIII].