Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy founded by Zeno of Citium in Athens in the early 3rd century BC. While Stoic physics are drawn from the teachings of the philosopher Heraclitus, they are influenced by certain teachings of Socrates. Stoicism is predominantly a philosophy of personal ethics informed by its system of logic and its views on the natural world. According to its teachings, as social beings, the path to happiness for humans is found in accepting the moment as it presents itself, by not allowing oneself to be controlled by the desire for pleasure or fear of pain, by using one's mind to understand the world and to do one's part in nature's plan, by working together and treating others and justly; the Stoics are known for teaching that "virtue is the only good" for human beings, that external things—such as health and pleasure—are not good or bad in themselves, but have value as "material for virtue to act upon". Alongside Aristotelian ethics, the Stoic tradition forms one of the major founding approaches to Western virtue ethics.
The Stoics held that certain destructive emotions resulted from errors of judgment, they believed people should aim to maintain a will, "in accord with nature". Because of this, the Stoics thought the best indication of an individual's philosophy was not what a person said, but how a person behaved. To live a good life, one had to understand the rules of the natural order since they thought everything was rooted in nature. Many Stoics—such as Seneca and Epictetus—emphasized that because "virtue is sufficient for happiness", a sage would be resilient to misfortune; this belief is similar to the meaning of the phrase "stoic calm", though the phrase does not include the "radical ethical" Stoic views that only a sage can be considered free, that all moral corruptions are vicious. Stoicism flourished throughout the Roman and Greek world until the 3rd century AD, among its adherents was Emperor Marcus Aurelius, it experienced a decline after Christianity became the state religion in the 4th century AD.
Since it has seen revivals, notably in the Renaissance and in the contemporary era. Stoic comes from the Greek stōïkos, meaning "of the stoa ". This, in turn, refers to the Stoa Poikile, or "Painted Stoa," in Athens, where the influential Stoic Zeno of Citium taught. In laymen's terms stoicism is sometimes referred to as "suffering in silence", the ethics associated with that; the Stoics provided a unified account of the world, consisting of formal logic, monistic physics and naturalistic ethics. Of these, they emphasized ethics as the main focus of human knowledge, though their logical theories were of more interest for philosophers. Stoicism teaches the development of self-control and fortitude as a means of overcoming destructive emotions. A primary aspect of Stoicism involves improving the individual's ethical and moral well-being: "Virtue consists in a will, in agreement with Nature." This principle applies to the realm of interpersonal relationships. The Stoic ethic espouses a deterministic perspective.
A Stoic of virtue, by contrast, would amend his will to suit the world and remain, in the words of Epictetus, "sick and yet happy, in peril and yet happy and yet happy, in exile and happy, in disgrace and happy," thus positing a "completely autonomous" individual will, at the same time a universe, "a rigidly deterministic single whole". This viewpoint was described as "Classical Pantheism". Stoicism became the foremost popular philosophy among the educated elite in the Hellenistic world and the Roman Empire, to the point where, in the words of Gilbert Murray "nearly all the successors of Alexander professed themselves Stoics."Beginning around 301 BC, Zeno taught philosophy at the Stoa Poikile, from which his philosophy got its name. Unlike the other schools of philosophy, such as the Epicureans, Zeno chose to teach his philosophy in a public space, a colonnade overlooking the central gathering place of Athens, the Agora. Zeno's ideas developed from those of the Cynics, whose founding father, had been a disciple of Socrates.
Zeno's most influential follower was Chrysippus, responsible for the molding of what is now called Stoicism. Roman Stoics focused on promoting a life in harmony within the universe, over which one has no direct control. Scholars divide the history of Stoicism into three phases: Early Stoa, from the founding of the school by Zeno to Antipater. Middle Stoa, including Panaetius and Posidonius. Late Stoa, including Musonius Rufus, Seneca and Marcus Aurelius. No complete work by any Stoic philosopher survives from the first two phases of Stoicism. Only Roman texts from the Late Stoa survive. Diodorus Cronus, one of Zeno's teachers, is considered the philosopher who first introduced and developed an approach to logic now known as propositional logic, based on statements or propositions, rather than terms, making it different from Aristotle's term logic. Chrysippus developed a system that became known as Stoic logic and included a deductive system, Stoic Syllogistic, considered a rival to Aristotle's Syllogistic.
The Guild Church of St Dunstan-in-the-West is in Fleet Street in the City of London. It is dedicated to a former Bishop of Archbishop of Canterbury; the church is of medieval origin, although the present building, with an octagonal nave, was constructed in the 1830s to the designs of John Shaw. First founded between AD 988 and 1070, there is a possibility that a church on this site was one of the Lundenwic strand settlement churches, like St Martin in the Fields, the first St Mary le Strand, St Clement Danes and St Brides, which may pre-date any within the walls of the city, it is not known when the original church was built, but it was erected by Saint Dunstan himself, or priests who knew him well. It was first mentioned in written records in 1185. King Henry III gained possession of it and its endowments from Westminster Abbey by 1237 and granted these and the advowson to the "House of Converts" i.e. of the converted Jews, which led to its neglect of its parochial responsibilities. The House of Converts was transformed into the Court of the Master of the Rolls.
William Tyndale, the celebrated translator of the Bible, was a lecturer at the church and sermons were given by the poet John Donne. Samuel Pepys mentions the church in his diary; the church narrowly escaped the Great Fire of London in 1666. The Dean of Westminster roused 40 scholars from Westminster School in the middle of the night, who formed a fire brigade which extinguished the flames with buckets of water to only three doors away; the medieval church underwent many alterations before its demolition in the early 19th century. Small shops were built against its walls, St Dunstan's Churchyard becoming a centre for bookselling and publishing. Repairs were carried out in an Italianate style: rusticated stonework was used, some of the Gothic windows were replaced with round headed ones, resulting in what George Godwin called "a most heterogeneous appearance". In 1701 the church's old vaulted roof was replaced with a flat ceiling, ornamented with recessed panels; the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers has been associated with the church since the 15th century.
The company holds an annual service of commemoration to honour two of its benefactors, John Fisher and Richard Minge, after which children were traditionally given a penny for each time they ran around the church. In the early 19th century the medieval church of St Dunstan was removed to allow the widening of Fleet Street and a new church was built on its burial ground. An Act of Parliament was obtained authorising the demolition of the church in July 1829 and trustees were appointed to carry it into effect. In December 1829 and September 1830 there were auctions of some of the materials of the old church; the first stone of the new building, to the design of John Shaw, Sr. was laid in July 1831 and construction proceeded rapidly. In August 1832 the last part of the old church, left as a screen between Fleet Street and the new work, was removed. Shaw dealt with the restricted site by designing a church with an octagonal central space. Seven of the eight sides open into the northern one containing the altar.
The eighth side opens into a short corridor, leading beneath the organ to the lowest stage of the tower, which serves as an entrance porch. Above the recesses Shaw designed a clerestory, above that a groined ceiling; the tower is square in plan, with an octagonal lantern, resembling those of St Botolph, St Helen's York. George Godwin Jr suggested that the form of the lantern might have been inspired by that of St George's church in Ramsgate, built in 1825 to the designs of H. E. Kendall. John Shaw Sr. died in 1833, before the church was completed, leaving it in the hands of his son John Shaw Jr. The communion rail is a survivor of the old church, having been carved by Grinling Gibbons during the period when John Donne served as vicar; some of the monuments from the medieval building were reinstituted in the new church and a fragment of the old churchyard remains between Clifford's Inn and Bream's Buildings. Apart from losing its stained glass, the church survived the London Blitz intact, though bombs did damage the open-work lantern tower.
The church was damaged again on the 24/25 March 1944, during Operation Steinbock, a late war and lower intensity attack on London. The building was restored in 1950. An appeal to raise money to install a new ring of bells in the tower, replacing those removed in 1969, was completed in 2012 with the dedication and hanging of 10 new bells; the church was designated a Grade I listed building on 4 January 1950. On the façade is a chiming clock, with figures of giants representing Gog and Magog, who strike the bells with their clubs, it was installed on the previous church in 1671 commissioned to celebrate its escape from destruction by the Great Fire of 1666. It was the first public clock in London to have a minute hand; the figures of the two giants strike the hours and quarters, turn their heads. There are numerous literary references to the clock, including in Thomas Hughes' Tom Brown's Schooldays, Oliver Goldsmith’s The Vicar of Wakefield, both David Copperfield and Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens, The Warden by Anthony Trollope, the penny dreadful serial The String of Pearls in which the character Sweeney Todd first appears, David Lyddal's The Prompter and a poem by William Cowper.
In 1828, when the medieval church was demolished, the clock was removed by art collector Francis Seymour-Conway, 3rd Marquess of Hertford to his mansion in Regent's Park. It was re
T. S. Eliot
Thomas Stearns Eliot, "one of the twentieth century's major poets" was an essayist, publisher and literary and social critic. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, in the United States, to a prominent Boston Brahmin family, he moved to England in 1914 at the age of 25, settling and marrying there, he became a British subject in 1927 at the age of 39. Eliot attracted widespread attention for his poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock", seen as a masterpiece of the Modernist movement, it was followed by some of the best-known poems in the English language, including The Waste Land, "The Hollow Men", "Ash Wednesday", Four Quartets. He was known for his seven plays Murder in the Cathedral and The Cocktail Party, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948, "for his outstanding, pioneer contribution to present-day poetry". The Eliots were a Boston Brahmin family with roots in New England. Thomas Eliot's paternal grandfather, William Greenleaf Eliot, had moved to St. Louis, Missouri, to establish a Unitarian Christian church there.
His father, Henry Ware Eliot, was a successful businessman and treasurer of the Hydraulic-Press Brick Company in St Louis. His mother, Charlotte Champe Stearns, wrote poetry and was a social worker, a new profession in the early 20th century. Eliot was the last of six surviving children. Eliot was born at a property owned by his grandfather, William Greenleaf Eliot, his four sisters were between 19 years older. Known to family and friends as Tom, he was the namesake of Thomas Stearns. Eliot's childhood infatuation with literature can be ascribed to several factors. First, he had to overcome physical limitations as a child. Struggling from a congenital double inguinal hernia, he could not participate in many physical activities and thus was prevented from socializing with his peers; as he was isolated, his love for literature developed. Once he learned to read, the young boy became obsessed with books and was absorbed in tales depicting savages, the Wild West, or Mark Twain's thrill-seeking Tom Sawyer.
In his memoir of Eliot, his friend Robert Sencourt comments that the young Eliot "would curl up in the window-seat behind an enormous book, setting the drug of dreams against the pain of living." Secondly, Eliot credited his hometown with fuelling his literary vision: "It is self-evident that St. Louis affected me more than any other environment has done. I feel that there is something in having passed one's childhood beside the big river, incommunicable to those people who have not. I consider myself fortunate to have been born here, rather than in Boston, or New York, or London."From 1898 to 1905, Eliot attended Smith Academy, where his studies included Latin, Ancient Greek and German. He began to write poetry when he was fourteen under the influence of Edward Fitzgerald's Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, a translation of the poetry of Omar Khayyam, he said the results were gloomy and despairing and he destroyed them. His first published poem, "A Fable For Feasters", was written as a school exercise and was published in the Smith Academy Record in February 1905.
Published there in April 1905 was his oldest surviving poem in manuscript, an untitled lyric revised and reprinted as "Song" in The Harvard Advocate, Harvard University's student magazine. He published three short stories in 1905, "Birds of Prey", "A Tale of a Whale" and "The Man Who Was King"; the last mentioned story reflects his exploration of the Igorot Village while visiting the 1904 World's Fair of St. Louis; such a link with primitive people antedates his anthropological studies at Harvard. Eliot lived in St. Louis, Missouri for the first sixteen years of his life at the house on Locust St. where he was born. After going away to school in 1905, he only returned to St. Louis for visits. Despite moving away from the city, Eliot wrote to a friend that the "Missouri and the Mississippi have made a deeper impression on me than any other part of the world."Following graduation, Eliot attended Milton Academy in Massachusetts for a preparatory year, where he met Scofield Thayer who published The Waste Land.
He studied philosophy at Harvard College from 1906 to 1909, earning his bachelor's degree after three years, instead of the usual four. While a student, Eliot was graduated with a pass degree, he recovered and persisted, attaining a B. A. in an elective program best described as comparative literature in three years, an M. A. in English literature in the fourth. Frank Kermode writes that the most important moment of Eliot's undergraduate career was in 1908 when he discovered Arthur Symons's The Symbolist Movement in Literature; this introduced him to Jules Laforgue, Arthur Rimbaud, Paul Verlaine. Without Verlaine, Eliot wrote, he might never have heard of Tristan Corbière and his book Les amours jaunes, a work that affected the course of Eliot's life; the Harvard Advocate published some of his poems and he became lifelong friends with Conrad Aiken, the American writer and critic. After working as a philosophy assistant at Harvard from 1909 to 1910, Eliot moved to Paris where, from 1910 to 1911, he studied philosophy at the Sorbonne.
He read poetry with Henri Alban-Fournier. From 1911 to 1914, he was back at Harvard studying Indian Sanskrit. Eliot was awarded a scholarship to Merton College, Oxford, in 1914, he first visited Marb
Vittoria Accoramboni was an Italian noblewoman. Her life became the basis for John Webster's play several novels, she was born in Gubbio in Umbria, the tenth child in a family belonging to the minor nobility of Gubbio, who migrated to Rome with a view to bettering their fortunes. After refusing several offers of marriage for Vittoria, her father betrothed her to Francesco Peretti, a man of no position, but a nephew of Cardinal Montalto, regarded as to become pope. Vittoria was admired and worshipped by the cleverest and most brilliant men in Rome, being luxurious and extravagant although poor and her husband were soon plunged in debt. Among her most fervent admirers was Paolo Giordano I Orsini, Duke of Bracciano, one of the most powerful men in Rome, her brother Marcello, wishing to see her the duke's wife, had Peretti murdered. The duke himself was suspected of complicity, inasmuch as he was believed to have murdered his first wife, Isabella de' Medici. Now that Vittoria was free he made her an offer of marriage, which she willingly accepted, they were married shortly after.
But her good fortune aroused much jealousy, attempts were made to annul the marriage. On the death of Pope Gregory XIII, Cardinal Montalto, her first husband's uncle, was elected in his place as Pope Sixtus V. Here the duke died in November 1585; the duchy of Bracciano passed to his son by his first wife. Vittoria, overwhelmed with grief, went to live in retirement at Padua, where she was followed by Lodovico Orsini, a relation of her late husband and a servant of the Venetian republic, to arrange amicably for the division of the property, but a quarrel having arisen in this connection, Lodovico hired a band of bravi and had Vittoria assassinated at the end of 1585. He himself and nearly all his accomplices were afterwards put to death by order of the republic, her story formed the basis of John Webster's drama tragedy, The White Devil, or The Tragedy of Paolo Giordano Ursini, Duke of Brachiano, of Stendhal's novella Vittoria Accoramboni, of Ludwig Tieck's novel, Vittoria Accoramboni and of Robert Merle's novel l'Idole published in English translation as Vittoria.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Luigi. "Accoramboni, Vittoria". In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica. 1. Cambridge University Press. P. 122. Endnote: Her story formed the basis of Webster's drama, The Tragedy of Paolo Giordano Ursini, of Ludwig Tieck's novel, Vittoria Accoramboni.
Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, Lady Mallowan, was an English writer. She is known for her 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections those revolving around her fictional detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. Christie wrote the world's longest-running play, a murder mystery, The Mousetrap, under the pen name Mary Westmacott, six romances. In 1971 she was appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for her contribution to literature. Christie was born into a wealthy upper-middle-class family in Devon. Before marrying and starting a family in London, she had served in a Devon hospital during the First World War, tending to troops coming back from the trenches, she was an unsuccessful writer with six consecutive rejections, but this changed when The Mysterious Affair at Styles, featuring Hercule Poirot, was published in 1920. During the Second World War, she worked as a pharmacy assistant at University College Hospital, acquiring a good knowledge of poisons which feature in many of her novels.
Guinness World Records lists Christie as the best-selling novelist of all time. Her novels have sold 2 billion copies, her estate claims that her works come third in the rankings of the world's most-widely published books, behind only Shakespeare's works and the Bible. According to Index Translationum, she remains the most-translated individual author, having been translated into at least 103 languages, and Then There Were None is Christie's best-selling novel, with 100 million sales to date, making it the world's best-selling mystery and one of the best-selling books of all time. Christie's stage play, it opened at the Ambassadors Theatre in the West End on 25 November 1952, as of September 2018 is still running after more than 27,000 performances. In 1955, Christie was the first recipient of the Mystery Writers of America's highest honour, the Grand Master Award; the same year, Witness for the Prosecution received an Edgar Award by the MWA for Best Play. In 2013, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd was voted the best crime novel by 600 fellow writers of the Crime Writers' Association.
On 15 September 2015, coinciding with her 125th birthday, And Then There Were None was named the "World's Favourite Christie" in a vote sponsored by the author's estate. Most of her books and short stories have been adapted for television, video games and comics, more than thirty feature films have been based on her work. Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller was born on 15 September 1890 into a wealthy upper-middle-class family in Torquay, Devon, she was the youngest of three children born to Frederick Alvah Miller, an affluent American stockbroker, his British-born wife Clara Miller née Boehmer. Agatha's mother Clara had been born in Belfast in 1854 to Captain Frederick Boehmer and Mary Ann West as the couple's only daughter. Boehmer was killed in a riding accident while stationed on Jersey in April 1863, leaving his widow to raise the children alone on a meagre income. In that same year, 1863, Mary Ann's sister Margaret married a wealthy American, Nathaniel Frary Miller, the couple settled in Southbourne, West Sussex.
Their marriage was childless, but Nathaniel had a son, from a previous marriage. Frederick had been sent to Switzerland for his education. Since Mary Ann was penniless and her sister Margaret was wealthy but childless, they arranged that Clara should be raised by her aunt and uncle, it was at the Miller's residence that Clara met her maternal aunt's step-son. She and Frederick soon developed a romantic relationship and were married in April 1878; the couple's first child, Margaret Frary Miller, was born in Torquay, where the couple were renting lodgings. Their second child, Louis Montant, was born in the U. S. state of New York. When Frederick's father Nathaniel died, he left his daughter-in-law Clara £2000, it was here that her third and final child, was born. Christie described her childhood as "very happy", she was surrounded by a series of independent women from an early age. Her time was spent alternating between her home in Devon, her step-grandmother and aunt's house in Ealing, West London, parts of Southern Europe, where her family would holiday during the winter.
Agatha was raised in a household with various esoteric beliefs and, like her siblings, believed that her mother Clara was a psychic with the ability of second sight. Agatha's sister Margaret had been sent to Roedean in Sussex for her education, but their mother insisted that Agatha receive a home education; as a result, her parents were responsible for teaching her to read and write and to master basic arithmetic, a subject she enjoyed. They taught her music, she learned to play both the piano and the mandolin. According to biographer Laura Thomson, Clara believed that Agatha should not learn to read until she was eight. However, thanks to her own curiosity, Agatha taught herself to read much earlier. One of the earliest known photographs of Christie depicts her as a little girl with her first dog, whom she called George Washington. Christie was a voracious reader from an early age. Among her earliest memories were those of reading the children's books written by Mrs Molesworth, including The Adventures of Herr Baby, Christmas Tree Land, The Magic Nuts.
She read the work of Edith Nesbit, including The Story of the Treasure Seekers, The Phoenix and the Carpet, The Railway Children. When a little older, she moved on to re
Blackfriars Theatre was the name given to two separate theatres located in the former Blackfriars Dominican priory in the City of London during the Renaissance. The first theatre began as a venue for the Children of the Chapel Royal, child actors associated with the Queen's chapel choirs, who from 1576 to 1584 staged plays in the vast hall of the former monastery; the second theatre dates from the purchase of the upper part of the priory and another building by James Burbage in 1596, which included the Parliament Chamber on the upper floor, converted into the playhouse. The Children of the Chapel played in the theatre beginning in the autumn of 1600 until the King's Men took over in 1608, they used it as their winter playhouse until all the theatres were closed in 1642 when the English Civil War began. Blackfriars Theatre was built on the grounds of the former Dominican monastery; the monastery was located between the Thames and Ludgate Hill within London proper. The black robes worn by members of this order lent the neighbourhood, theatres, their name.
In the pre-Reformation Tudor years, the site was used not only for religious but for political functions, such as the annulment trial of Catherine of Aragon and Henry VIII which, some eight decades would be reenacted in the same room by Shakespeare's company. After Henry's expropriation of monastic property, the monastery became the property of the crown. Cawarden used part of the monastery as Revels offices. After Cawarden's death in 1559, the property was sold by Lady Cawarden to Sir William More. In 1576, Richard Farrant Master of Windsor Chapel leased part of the former buttery from More in order to stage plays; as in the theatrical practice of the time, this commercial enterprise was justified by the convenient fiction of royal necessity. The theatre was small 46 feet long and 25 feet wide, admission, compared to public theatres, expensive. For his playing company, Farrant combined his Windsor children with the Children of the Chapel Royal directed by William Hunnis. On Farrant's death in 1580, Hunnis took on John Newman as a partner and they subleased the property from Farrant's widow, putting up a ₤100 bond on the promise to promptly pay the rent and to make needed repairs.
But the venture did not go well financially, which put Farrant's widow in jeopardy of defaulting on the rent to More. In November 1583, Farrant brought suit against Newman for default on the bond. To escape a suit by her or More and Newman transferred their sublease to Henry Evans, a Welsh scrivener and theatrical affectionado; this unauthorised assignment of the sublease gave More an excuse to bring suit to retake possession of the property, but Evans used legal delays and escaped legal action by selling the sublease to Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, sometime after Michaelmas Term of 1583, who gave it to his secretary, the writer John Lyly. As proprietor of the playhouse, Lyly installed Evans as the manager of the new company of Oxford's Boys, composed of the Children of the Chapel and the Children of Paul's, turned his talents to play writing. Lyly's Campaspe was performed at Blackfriars and subsequently at Court on New Year's Day 1584. In November 1583, still Master of the Chapel Children petitioned the Queen to increase the stipend to house and clothe the company.
More obtained a legal judgement voiding the original lease at the end of Easter Term of 1584, thereby ending the First Blackfriars Playhouse after eight years and postponing the performance of Lyly's third play, Gallathea. The second Blackfriars was an indoor theatre built elsewhere on the property at the instigation of James Burbage, father of Richard Burbage, impresario of the Lord Chamberlain's Men. In 1596, Burbage purchased, for £ 600, the frater of rooms below; this large space 100 feet long and 50 wide, with high ceilings allowed Burbage to construct two galleries increasing potential attendance. The nature of Burbage's modifications to his purchase is not clear, the many contemporary references to the theatre do not offer a precise picture of its design. Once fitted for playing, the space may have been about 69 feet long and 46 feet wide, including tiring areas. There were at least two and three galleries, a number of stage boxes adjacent to the stage. Estimates of its capacity have varied from below 600 to 1000, depending on the number of galleries and boxes.
As many as ten spectators would have encumbered the stage. As Burbage built, however, a petition from the residents of the wealthy neighbourhood persuaded the Privy Council to forbid playing there; the company was forbidden to perform there. Three years Richard Burbage was able to lease the property to Henry Evans, among those ejected more than fifteen years earlier. Evans entered a partnership with
Thomas Middleton was an English Jacobean playwright and poet. Middleton stands with John Fletcher and Ben Jonson among the most successful and prolific of the playwrights at work during the Jacobean period, he was among the few to achieve equal success in comedy and tragedy, a prolific writer of masques and pageants. Middleton was born in London and baptised on 18 April 1580, he was the son of a bricklayer who had raised himself to the status of a gentleman and who owned property adjoining the Curtain Theatre in Shoreditch. Middleton was just five when his father died and his mother's subsequent remarriage dissolved into a 15-year battle over the inheritance of Thomas and his younger sister – an experience which must have informed and incited his repeated satire at the expense of the legal profession. Middleton attended Queen’s College, matriculating in 1598, but he did not graduate. Before he left Oxford, he published three long poems in popular Elizabethan styles. None appears to have been successful, one, his book of satires, ran foul of an Anglican Church ban on verse satire and was burned.
His literary career was launched. In the early 17th century, Middleton made a living writing topical pamphlets, including one – Penniless Parliament of Threadbare Poets –, reprinted several times and became the subject of a parliamentary inquiry. At the same time, records in the diary of Philip Henslowe show that Middleton was writing for the Admiral's Men. Unlike Shakespeare, Middleton remained a free agent, able to write for, his early dramatic career was marked by controversy. His friendship with Thomas Dekker brought him into conflict with Ben Jonson and George Chapman in the War of the Theatres; the grudge against Jonson continued as late as 1626, when Jonson's play The Staple of News indulges in a slur on Middleton's great success, A Game at Chess. It has been argued that Middleton's Inner Temple Masque sneers at Jonson as a "silenced bricklayer."In 1603, Middleton married. In the same year an outbreak of the plague forced the theatres in London to close, while James I came to the English throne.
These events marked the beginning of Middleton's greatest period as a playwright. Having passed the time during the plague composing prose pamphlets, he returned to drama with great energy, producing a score of plays for several companies and in several genres, most notably city comedy and revenge tragedy, he continued his collaborations with Dekker, the two produced The Roaring Girl, a biography of the contemporary thief Mary Frith. In the 1610s, Middleton began a fruitful collaboration with the actor William Rowley, producing Wit at Several Weapons and A Fair Quarrel. Working alone he produced his comic masterpiece, A Chaste Maid in Cheapside, in 1613, his own plays from this decade reveal a somewhat mellowed temper. There is no comedy among them with the satirical depth of Michaelmas Term and no tragedy as bloodthirsty as The Revenger's Tragedy. Middleton was, at the same time involved with civic pageants; this last connection was made official in 1620, when he was appointed chronologer of the City of London.
He held this post until his death in 1627. Middleton's official duties did not interrupt his dramatic writing. In 1624, he reached a peak of notoriety when his dramatic allegory A Game at Chess was staged by the King's Men; the play used the conceit of a chess game to present and satirise the recent intrigues surrounding the Spanish Match. Though Middleton's approach was patriotic, the Privy Council silenced the play after nine performances, having received a complaint from the Spanish ambassador. Middleton faced an unknown frightening degree of punishment. Since no play than A Game at Chess is recorded, it has been suggested that this included a ban on writing for the stage. Middleton died at his home at Newington Butts in Southwark in 1627, was buried on 4 July in St Mary's churchyard; the old church of St Mary's was demolished in 1876 to facilitate road-widening, its replacement elsewhere in Kennington Park Road was destroyed in the Second World War but rebuilt in 1958. The old churchyard where Middleton was buried survives as a public park in Castle.
Middleton wrote in many genres, including tragedy and city comedy. His best-known plays are the tragedies The Changeling and Women Beware Women, the cynically satirical city comedy A Chaste Maid in Cheapside. Earlier editions of The Revenger's Tragedy attributed the play to Cyril Tourneur, or refused to arbitrate between Middleton and Tourneur. Since the statistical studies by David Lake and MacDonald P. Jackson, Middleton's authorship has not been contested, no further scholar has defended the Tourneur attribution; the Oxford Middleton and its companion piece, Thomas Middleton and Early Modern Textual Culture, offer extensive evidence both for Middleton's authorship of The Revenger's Tragedy, for his collaboration with Shakespeare on Timon of Athens, for his adaptation and revision of Shakespeare's Macbeth and Measure for Measure. It has been argued that Middleton collaborated with Shakespeare on All's Well That Ends Well. Middleton's work is diverse by the standards of his age, he did not have the kind of official relationship with a particular company that Shakespeare or Fletcher had.
Instead he appears to have written on a freelance basis for any number of companies. His output rang