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In accordance with our meta agreement to have topic challenges and a later meta agreement to have topic challenges lasting for two months and overlapping by one month, it is time to announce the June – July 2024 topic challenge.

Based on the number of votes (+5/-1) and the age of the proposal, the fourth topic challenge fully in 2024 is:

Thomas Middleton


What's a topic challenge?

See the meta posts linked above, and also this main meta post. In short, during June and July 2024 you are invited to try to read at least one work by Thomas Middleton and ask questions about it.

Participation is not obligatory in any sense, and questions on other works are more than welcome during April and May too; they just won't count as part of this topic challenge.

How can I take part?

By getting hold of some works of Thomas Middleton and asking (or answering!) good questions about them. Questions about these works should be tagged with and other tags as appropriate. We'll keep a list of all such questions in an answer to this meta post.

Below is Tsundoku's presentation of the topic:

Thomas Middleton (1580 – 1627) was one of the most prolific Jacobean playwrights but is less well known because his work, unlike that of Shakespeare and Ben Jonson, was never published in a folio edition. He wrote at least thirteen plays by himself and collaborated on numerous others. They include:

The first critical edition of his works,Thomas Middleton: The Collected Works, edited by Gary Tailor and John Lavagnino, was published in 2007. Gary Taylor has called Middleton "our other Shakespeare" and said in an article on Florida State University's news pages:

Middleton’s work should resonate with contemporary audiences, given his themes of money, politics and sex, and his dialogue, which is easier than Shakespeare’s on the modern ear. (...) Middleton’s plays read like they could have been written yesterday.

Those who want to read Middleton's plays online and for free can do so on Chris Cleary's website The Plays of Thomas Middleton (1580-1627).

What's next?

  • Vote for the next topic challenge (July–August), or propose your own topic!
  • Feel free to edit links into this post if you find some good resources of Middleton works available to read online.

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List of all questions posted in this topic challenge

  1. Why is Antonio the changeling? by verbose, 18/06/2024.
  2. What was the theological pamphlet attributed to Thomas Middleton? by Tsundoku, 02/07/2024 (HNQ).
  3. In what way were Stuart court masques examples of neoplatonic idealism? by Tsundoku, 11/07/2024.
  4. add entries in the form https://literature.stackexchange.com/questions/<question-ID> by [username](https://literature.stackexchange.com/users/<user-ID>), dd/mm/2024.

The highest-voted of these is question-url with a score of TBD at the end of July.

The most viewed is question-url, with approximately TBD views by the end of July.

TBD questions received at least one answer.


Reviews submitted to our Tumblr blog: TBD.

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