A Trick to Catch the Old One

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This is the first single volume edition of A Trick to Catch the Old One for many decades. This edition presents a thoroughly reconsidered text based on collation of all known copies of the 1608 quarto (including material unnoticed by earlier editors). Textual analysis draws on detailed internal investigation and the printer's wider practice to propose that relatively improvisational procedures and a paper quota governed A Trick's printing operations. Discovery of an overlooked record revises the date of court performance to 1 January 1607, with implications for the play's early history. Critical discussion freshly examines the play's multi-layered ironic texture in relation to such issues as the status of women, marriage's relation to prostitution and vice versa, and the contemporary marriage market. And the Courtesan receives special attention in the context of this overarching ironic scheme. An extensive stage history explores original staging and documents revivals to 2011. The commentary is the most wide-ranging and comprehensive of all modern editions.