"Here lies she whom her husband's kindness killed" This is the epitaph, in golden letters, Master John Frankford proposes for the tomb of his wife, Anne, who has just starved herself to death.
Frankford congratulates himself on the clever means by which he has brought his wife to repentance-and got rid of her. The marriage is comfortable, if uneventful, until Frankford gives his friend Wendoll the free use of his table and purse.
When Wendoll takes even more than was offered, and confesses his desperate love to Anne, a complex and tragic drama ensues. Praised as Heywood's best play and as the best "domestic tragedy," A Woman Killed with Kindness (1603) requires us to consider who and what the household includes and on what conditions.
What are the limits of hospitality? What are the relationships between friendship and marriage, intimacy and possession? This student edition contains a fully annotated version of the playtext in modern spelling.
The Introduction includes a detailed discussion of the play's interpretation and stage history.