on 27 November 2012
This Kindle product is a full faithful rendering of the standard text of the plays involved. I has no 'extras': commentary, notes etc but just the text.
It is therefore useful as a source but not particularly for study. Like all Kindle plays the presentation on the standard size screen also does not lend itself to line learning.
I certainly don't intend to review the plays themselves on this forum - wasted as I suspect nobody who doesn't know the plays is going to look at any review.
The volume suffers from a problem often found with similar Kindle presentations: it opens at the start of the first play and there is no 'table of contents' option on the Go to.. menu option. You have to either Go to the cover and page forward to the TOC or go to the 'beginning' and page back to it.
on 30 September 2009
The plays in this volume really are exquisite. Beautifully crafted, subtly pitched, they obviously stem from a fine sensibility; they just go to confirm the verdict of later figures such as Coleridge, Lamb, and Swinburne that Ford was not only a great dramatist, but also one of the great English poets.
Writing in the 1620s, well after Shakespeare and Marlowe, John Ford is now little read and rarely produced. Which is a shame as his plays have a dramatic power and tension that recall some of the gothic barbarity of Webster, though in much simpler language.
The highlight of this collection is 'Tis Pity She's a Whore: set in Italy, it tells the story of incestuous love between Giovanni and Annabella, brother and sister, and the sexual jealousy that ensues when she is forced into marriage. Stark, dark and bloody, this builds to a predictable but still shockingly visual climax.
With intertextual references to Romeo and Juliet, Othello, and classical literature such as Ovid's Metamorphoses, this weaves it's own taut and tense spell over the reader. Short but memorable.