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Still one of the best known plays by John Webster there is actually some basis in fact for the script which was partly inspired by real events from the previous century in Italy. Webster used this to create something which is a masterpiece of Jacobean revenge tragedies.

Although it is believed that this was popular enough in its day, due to differences in fashion and thought it was neglected for a while, and then interest was revived, making it something that is studied, performed and discussed up to the present day.

The Duchess of the title is a widow but still quite young, but when she secretly marries and has children this does not go down well with her two brothers, one a Cardinal, and the other Ferdinand, who as we read this we can see there is a certain feeling of lust and incest within him, towards his sister.

And so we are drawn into a world of romance, greed, abuse of power, corruption, adultery, murder and eventually madness. As this tale plays out on the page so we can see a world that has not changed much since with the same issues ones that we can read in the news every day. Dark and macabre throughout we can only wonder at the fortitude of the Duchess as her brothers’ actions lead her into mental torture and anguish, and beyond.

This fell out of fashion due to the senseless violence and cruelty portrayed here, but it was this that also arguably brought it back into the eyes of the public, as it mirrors what we see and know happens around us. In a world that at times can seem cruel and senseless with people out to get what they can this should always be something that people will read and take notice of.
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on 7 November 2017
If you are studying this at a level, do not buy this copy. It is missing sections and the layout can be a little confusing. Get a different version because quite a few sections are missing. Also, there are no helpful notes in this edition either. If you are just reading the play, and don't mind that some parts are missing, then go ahead and read this.
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on 3 August 2017
I'm not a keen fan of John Webster's works however this book played its part in my A level and was a good book. It does however only contain the play and it may be worth paying a little extra to get the copy with notations written for every page.
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on 3 March 2017
If you're looking to use this as an academic text, please do no invest in this edition. There are no line numbers, making referencing near impossible, as well as nonsensical footnotes which do not correspond to a set of notes anywhere in the text. A total waste of money and will not have to invest in another copy. Gutted.
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on 18 April 2012
Presumably most readers of this edition will be like myself - someone who knows the play and wanted a copy of it. I love it but can understand those who don't: hence the only reason for my review is to let potential users know about its Kindle presentation.

With just a very, very short introduction it is effectively just the text of the script and nothing else: valuable for reading or a reference but not for study purposes. As with most plays it appears cluttered on a standard Kindle screen and would not be an ideal vehicle for learning lines if you were to be acting one of the parts.
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on 15 May 2016
Carrying a lot of books to class with you can get heavy very easily, so I am glad this is a small, thin and lightweight book. It does the job and is good for a univrsity student studying the play. The cover feels high quality as it is matte, but the printing on the front is not so great. I like the fact that there is a lot of space to annotate and write notes in this version of the book. Overall, I am happy and I reccommend this to a student needing the space for annotation.
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on 16 March 2018
The play itself is good this edition is very ugly. The font is a bit too large and the back cover is not great. Would recommend a different cover if covera bother you if not it has plenty space for annotations.
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on 15 January 2017
Very poor quality reproduction. No line numbers, making referencing and note taking difficult. Many of the more risqué phrases have been edited out by this rather censorious publisher, of which there is no warning in when purchase made. I'd go as far to say it has been sold under false representation - it isn't what it says it is.
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on 12 August 2017
Looks a bit cheaply. Made with a blurry cover but hopefully the books correct inside for my course I need it for
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on 10 September 2017
I dont like this copy- it dosent have a blurb. The Acts dont start on a new page, many just carry on halfway down the page. It just looks cheap and tacky!
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