Thomas Lodge, A Margarite of America

Edited by Donald Beecher and Henry D. Janzen - BR17

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According to Lodge, at least part of the “horror” romance was written aboard the Cavendish expedition while attempting to run the Strait of Magellan, making this the first English prose fiction written in “America.” But the tale itself is set in the romance lands of Arcadia and Central Europe. A Margarite is a story of war and peace, pathetic loyalty and brazen betrayal, attempted rape, imperial stratagems and a bloodbath dénouement — decisive and dramatic as the Elizabethans liked their plots of revenge. This was to be Lodge’s au revoir to the writing of commercial fiction — a masterpiece, employing all the prose and poetic styles he had developed throughout his writing career. Readers of Elizabethan fiction will enjoy the challenge of classifying Lodge’s innovative genre and tracing the scope of his reading, evident in his richly referential textures.

Edited with introduction and notes by Donald Beecher and Henry D. Janzen

Donald Beecher is Professor of English as Carleton University, Ottawa, the editor of some twenty critical editions of Renaissance texts, and a student of the cognitive sciences and their implications for the study of literature.

Henry D. Janzen is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Windsor. He has prepared editions of two plays for the Malone Society, and has published articles on Heywood, Middleton, Shakespeare, and Milton. His contributions to the field of early prose fiction include critical editions of Braithwaite’s The Two Lancashire Lovers and J.S.’s Clidamus, or, The Sicilian Tale, both in the Barnabe Riche series.

205 pp.
ISBN: 978-0-7727-2027-6 softcover
Published: 2005



Horror Fiction for the 1590s
Romance and Revenge Tragedy
The Patchwork Romance:
A Margarite Through its Sources
Romance Topography
The Fiction of Social Gaming:
The "Questioni d'amore"
The Poetic Insets
Bibliographical and Editorial Matters

I. A Life of Thomas Lodge
II. On the Power of Lovers' Eyes


A Margarite of America
[Preliminary Pieces]
A Margarite of America
for Ladies' delight, and Ladies' honour.

Textual Notes