The three plays collected in this volume depict the faults, errors and foibles of ordinary people with exuberant humour, savage satire and acute observations. Volpone portrays a rich Venetian who pretends to be dying so that his despised acquaintances will flock to his bedside with extravagant gifts in hope of an inheritance. The Alchemist also deals with greed and gullibility, as a rascally trio of confidence tricksters, claiming to have the legendary Philosopher’s Stone, fool a series of victims who are hoping to make some easy money. And in a wonderfully energetic portrait of Jacobean life, Bartholomew Fair shows a diverse group of Londoners sampling the delights and temptations of the Fair – and the traders, prostitutes and cutpurses who set out to exploit them.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Ben Jonson was born in 1572, the posthumous son of a minister, and, thanks to an unknown patron, was educated at Westminster. After this he was for a brief time apprenticed to his stepfather as a bricklayer. He served as… More about Ben Jonson
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Published by Penguin Classics Dec 28, 2004| 496 Pages| ISBN 9780141441184