Murder in the Cathedral, Paperback Book
3 out of 5 (1 rating)


Professor Coghill was invited to prepare this annotated edition of Murder in the Cathedral by Eliot himself, and he approved his introduction.

Coghill discusses Eliot's subject matter, and the play's importance in his oeuvre.

Forty pages of notes elucidate textual difficulties, and include a valuable discussion of some wider issues.

The references to the production of the play in the theatre are of great interest.

There are three appendices on the historical context; on the metre of Everyman, which influenced the versification of Murder in the Cathedral; and on Tennyson's poetic drama Beckett, which offers a striking contrast to Eliot's treatment of the subject.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Plays, playscripts
  • ISBN: 9780571063277

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As poetry it's wonderful, though I'm still not quite certain of it as drama. Particularly, though I know that Eliot felt he had accomplished his task, I'm not sold on the Fourth Tempter. To be precise, I'm not certain that he ever really addressed/countered those arguments to a degree necessary to come to the conclusions that Eliot wished the viewer to come to.The notes in my edition, however, are more than a little slavish in their devotion to the author. I really could have done without the appendix that could be boiled down to a long essay explaining just how Tennyson's attempt at a Beckett play was poor art, for instance.