David Bevington's volume on George Peele looks at the literary achievement of that dramatist and author, who was born in London some time around 1556-8, was educated at Oxford, and returned to London to become a prolific writer until his death in 1596. He died at the age of forty, in poverty, and was never far from the threat of debtors' prison throughout his adult life.
Peele, like Greene and Marlowe, was caricatured in his immediate afterlife as the embodiment of a popular and thriving literary culture in London of the late sixteenth century: a world that was competitive and relentlessly unforgiving in its economic pressures, but also colourful, adventuresome, and vital. This volume collects together for the first time the best contemporary published work on Peele by a group of renowned scholars. They discuss Peele's Lord Mayor's Pageants, Court Entertainments, occasional poems, and his plays The Arraignment of Paris, The Old Wives Tale, The Battle of Alcazar, Edward I, David and Bathsheba, and Titus Andronicus. The essays are accompanied by David Bevington's substantial introduction which discusses Peele's life and works, particularly in the context of the other five University Wits.