Middling Liz I (1576 to 1589ish)

Still super selective here, there’s so much else going on and we’re running out of room per page. So, not so many translations or Latin plays at this time, just a few obvious choices which we’ll look at over the next few years. Dating varies, everything has a hinterland now…


Common Conditions by the unknown

The Tide Tarrieth No Man by George Wapull – Exploring Session available on YouTube.


All For Money by Thomas Lupton

Abraham’s Sacrifice by Theodore de Beze and translated by Arthur Golding – Theodore de Beze wrote this play in 1550, and Arthur Golding finished translating it on Thursday 11th August 1575, but it was published this year. As far as we know it was never staged, but as print culture it may have had more influence than at first appears. It’s yet another variation on the Abraham and Isaac story, though with bonus shepherds and special guest star, Satan!


A Marriage Between Wit and Wisdom by Francis Merbury – yup, another one of them… this is the third iteration of the Wit and Science plays, starting the odd decade ago. It could have come about almost anywhere in the 1570’s, but we’re going for a later date. Exploring session available on YouTube.


The Arraignment of Paris by George Peele – Exploring sessions available on YouTube.

Three Ladies of London by Robert Wilson – a not unproblematic play for Leicester’s Men, later to spawn a sequel which acquires three additional Lords with a probably transfer to the Queen’s Men.


Sir Clyomon, Knight of the Golden Shield & Clamydes the White Knight – yes, this is the second time we’ve put this play into this timeline – that’s because around about now it gets appropriated by the Queen’s Men. And it’s great fun, so having it twice is no burden.


Campaspe by John Lyly – first surviving text by Lyly, in a run of plays lasting about a decade. We’ll be adding all his plays to this playlist as we go.

Sappho and Phao by John Lyly – a first look exploring session is available.


1585 Lord Mayor’s Show – by George Peele. Or, the Device of the Pageant borne before Wolstan Dixie. The earliest extant printed pageant we have, with an additional account of the events of the 29th October. Exploring session available, with more to come.

Galatea by John Lyly


The Famous Victories of Henry V by Somebody – Exploring sessions available, first phase stop start read through with discussion, and also a Second Look non stop read through – all in the playlist. There’s additional work to come on Richard Tarlton’s role in this play. Keep ’em peeled.

Love’s Metamophosis by John Lyly

The Hunting of Cupid by George Peele (fragment) – it’s impossible to firmly date this, it’s all a bit of a mess, but we had so much fun with these fragments. Enjoy.


The Troublesome Reign of King John by George Peele – this is the earliest this play could appear, it might be closer to 1589.

Alphonsus by Robert Greene – first of many plays by Greene, with much to enjoy. Exploring session available.

The Spanish Comedy of Don Horatio possibly by Thomas Kyd. This play is lost, apart from possible surviving elements in The First Part of Hieronimo – which is a later comedy spoof – follow this link to view work on what we call Jeronimo! It’s fab. Discover more in the next entry.

The Spanish Tragedy by Thomas Kyd – exploring session available. We explored this back to back with Jeronimo! (see above) and it was glorious.

Tamberlaine the Great by Christopher Marlowe – not to be confused with Tamberlaine the Great part 1 or 2, this is when the original play came about, with material that was cut when printed and before the second part was a twinkle in Marlowe’s eye. Here’s the prologue…

And here’s a playlist for our exploration of both plays…

Dido, Queen of Carthage by Christopher Marlowe and Thomas Nashe – First and Second Look exploring sessions available in the playlist below. Some people put this play much earlier, but it’s a tonic to place it after Tamberlaine, makes you think about it differently.

David and Bathsabe by George Peele – might live as early as this, but we’ve gone with a later date to place our videos.


A Looking Glass for London and England by Thomas Lodge and Robert Greene – as usual, dating varies, but this play could live about here, or as late as 1591. It’s a spectacular Biblical epic, and other play from this period which is almost uncategoriseable – exploring session available on YouTube.

We also have looked at the epilogue to the play separately on the podcast.

The Misfortunes of Arthur by Thomas Hughes – we’ve not done this, but someone else has… updates to come.

The Wounds of Civil War by Thomas Lodge – an epic Roman history play, where all of the names sound familiar, but they’re not necessarily the person you immediately think of. The opening of the play is an absolute cracker.

Endymion by John Lyly

Tamberlaine the Great, part two by Christopher Marlowe – see above for more, but here’s the prologue for the solus part two.

Three Lords and Three Ladies of London by Robert Wilson


Taming of a Shrew by some human being somewhere. And boy is this a tricky devil for us to work on.

Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe and Thomas Nashe – again, this might originate in 1588, or later, but we’re putting it next to the Friar Bacon plays because it exists in conversation with them. Below is a playlist starting with our First Look exploring session – the Second Look follows.

Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay by Robert Greene – or perhaps we should call this, Friar Bacon – part one. There is a sequel that appears a few years later that survives in a slightly fragmentary state, known either as the second part of Friar Bacon or John of Bordeaux. It follows Friar Bacon in this exploring session playlist.

Midas by John Lyly

Mother Bombie by John Lyly

The Jew of Malta by Christopher Marlowe – exploring sessions available.

John a Kent and John a Cumber by Anthony Munday

The True Tragedy of Richard III – this is a Brechtian masterpiece, and we’re eager to make it happen. We’ve done a recording of the opening for the podcast…

And also a complete exploratory read through on YouTube…

The Battle of Alcazar by George Peele – if there’s not a confusion of names, this play was quite popular in the next decade. An exploring session is available on YouTube